Emily Slusser

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
This past year I have been researching the frequencies and characteristics of gender differentiated antisocial behaviors displayed by preschool aged children during unstructured play times. I have been working under the guidance of my faculty mentor, Prof. Virginia Mann, and with the assistance of Prof. Geoffrey Iverson from the UCI Cognitive Sciences Department.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?
I first became involved in research when I entered the Psychology Honors Program at the beginning of my third year at UCI. This program entailed completing several lab experiments for the Experimental Psychology course series as well as developing my own research inquiry and proposal. After completing an extensive pilot study, this past summer I was awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURP), which provided funding to expand on and improve on my continuing study.
3. How has research enhanced you education?
Various research opportunities, such as assistantships and independent research projects, have not only provided enriching experiences that will no doubt prepare me for graduate school, but they have also turned out to be the highlight of my undergraduate education. Being involved in research has taught me countless academic and professional skills that are rarely taught in classrooms and lecture halls. I am now confident that I can complete a comprehensive literature review, develop and conduct a methodologically and ethically sound research project, perform a thorough analysis of results, and write or present the outcome in a professional manner.
4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?
To tell the truth, when I began my independent research project I felt quite intimidated with the work that was to be involved. The highlights of this experience, therefore, were conquering each unfolding step of the research process. After completing one task (whether it be a literature review or recruiting preschools and participants) I found myself even more motivated and confident to complete the next step. I also enjoyed presenting my research results at the 2002 Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research held at Caltech, and I am even more excited about presenting at UC-Day in Sacramento next month.
5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?
After graduating this year, I plan on pursuing my doctorate in child clinical psychology. Through the graduate school application process, I have found that acceptance to these programs relies heavily on undergraduate research experience. Research involvement has also helped me to establish relationships with faculty and other highly esteemed researchers in my field. I believe that my experiences and the skills I've learned will make a profound contribution to my future career in academic research as a professor or clinician in a university setting.
6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?
First and foremost, my advice to other students interested in research is to get involved as early as possible. There are plenty of opportunities that one can learn about by talking with faculty or utilizing departmental advising services. I suggest exploring all research assistantships or internships that are open to students in order to get an extensive understanding of the variety of research topics and methods. For students who are interested in developing a project of their own, I suggest looking for a faculty mentor who shares their interests and who they enjoy working with. Also, developing a research proposal that is intriguing and interesting to the individual is very important because the researcher will most likely be working with the topic for an extended period of time.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '03 Jana Remy
Nov. '03 Jacqueline Chattopadhyay
Oct. '03 Anshuman Chadha
Sep. '03 Ted K. Yanagihara
Aug. '03 Stephanie Domzalski
Jul. '03 Susan Milden
Jun. '03 Mai Nguyen
May '03 Chris Smith
Apr. '03 Erin Ramsey
Mar. '03 Michael Williams
Feb. '03 Emily Slusser
Jan. '03 Laleh Boroujerdi-Rad
Recent Year