Wednesday, March 2, 2016

FWS Student Highlights: Julianna Kinsolving

In the OSCAR program, I am currently working on entering and coding data from campus climate surveys about sexual assault for Women and Gender Studies. I enter the answers from several surveys, which include both numbers from scales and free response answers, into an Excel sheet, then clean the data for strange/irrelevant answers or mistakes, and will soon be learning to code the data into the SPSS system. I work under the supervision of Angela Hattery, the director of the Women and Gender Studies program, and a truly spectacular person to work with. I have discovered several things over the course of my research with WGST. The first thing I have discovered is that George Mason University is a very safe place; there were many more surveys without any incidents than there were with such. That being said, there were still some very sad incidents found in these surveys, and it was interesting to read when, where, and how sexual assault happens on this campus. I also found how truly diverse GMU is, with many different answers to the race/ethnicity and sexual orientation spaces. One shocking fact I found was how time consuming research can be. I realized the reason why studies can take years to be completed, especially when there are special factors that can delay the process; in my case, sometimes the data would be invalid and could not be used. I find this research project very related to my long term goals. I have wanted to learn the very valuable skill of coding; in this technological age, it is useful to have knowledge about computer programming. Learning such knowledge now in my freshman year will give me many advantages as I progress on in my career. I am very grateful to be able to help with research about such an important topic with such kind people.