Heather Smith

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
My research revolves around international politics and international law. Professor Mark P. Petracca in the Political Science Department is my faculty mentor.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I initially became involved in faculty-mentored research through the encouragement of Dr. Petracca. I began doing research for him as a freshman at U.C. Irvine. During my junior year, he graciously agreed to serve as my senior thesis advisor.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

Conducting original research as an undergraduate gave me an unparalleled opportunity to form bonds with faculty members and learn numerous skills that have already proven invaluable in my life.

4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?

My favorite research experience was getting into an argument with Gil Garcetti’s Public Relations Officer during a telephone interview. The individual was convinced that I was a member of the press attempting to slander Garcetti in an article.

5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

I am currently applying to graduate school with the intention of working toward a Ph.D. in political science. Eventually, I would like to teach undergraduate political science courses in international politics. My faculty-mentored research gave me an opportunity to pursue an area of research that interested me and that I intend to continue during graduate school.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

The only advice I can offer to other students interested in conducting research is to pursue a topic that truly interests and excites you. On some long nights in the library your genuine interest in the topic may be all you have to keep you going.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '00 Chris Gothard
Nov. '00 Kristoffer Nicolaisen
Oct. '00 Bryan Sommerse
Sep. '00 Ryan Stafford
Aug. '00 Carol Chao
Jul. '00 Gopi Manthrapagada
Jun. '00 Heather Smith
May '00 Pany Tehrani
Apr. '00 Kirsten Cappel
Mar. '00 Shelly Brown-Riddle
Feb. '00 Nader Nassif
Jan. '00 Rebecca Kanter
Recent Year