Elizabeth Kirchner

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
I am particularly interested in how families cope with stressful life events. Dr. Roxane Cohen Silver was my faculty mentor for my honors thesis entitled, "Coping with Parental Depression".
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

During my first quarter at UCI, I applied for a position as a research assistant for a cross-national study on ADHD. I continued on this study until I graduated last June. As I was graduate school bound, I knew that it was never too early to begin building my research skills. Further, I shared my knowledge of the research process with other students as the Research Design (SE10) tutor for the Learning and Academic Resource Center.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

My undergraduate research experience at UCI has provided a foundation of basic skills that have proven invaluable in my studies in the Master's program in Social Work at Columbia University.

4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?
My favorite research experience has been receiving feedback from friends, family, and even participants regarding the results of my study. Several anonymous notes written by respondents were attached to questionnaires to inform me of how excited they were to see someone studying this important topic.
5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

In my future career as a licensed child therapist, my research skills will enable me to evaluate critically research pertaining to new treatments and interventions. However, I plan to teach at the university level and continue my research after I receive my graduate degree. I intend to pursue a role as an instructor because I feel it is also important to contribute to the academic development and training of future professionals. I feel that in the ever-changing mental health profession, it is vital to continue to be active in the research process. I plan to extend my research from my honors thesis and to conduct more in-depth studies on families coping with mental illness. In addition, I expect to examine and develop prevention and intervention programs for children and their families coping with stressful life events. Thus, through practice, research, and teaching, I hope to employ my foundation of undergraduate research skills to serve the mental health needs of children and their families.

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

I would suggest that other students get involved in research early in their undergraduate careers. Even if a student does not plan to have a career in research, the research experience will provide invaluable skills that are applicable in many disciplines. In addition, I recommend that students research topics they are passionate about so that they can enjoy the research experience. Finally, the research experience is an opportunity to create in-depth and long-lasting relationships with faculty, graduate students and staff at the university.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '01 Anna Kaiser
Nov. '01 Sunny Staton
Oct. '01 Kristine Kolkman
Sep. '01 Raquel Fernandez
Aug. '01 Temre Davies
Jul. '01 Krikor Andonian
Jun. '01 Elizabeth Kirchner
May '01 Joshua Neil
Apr. '01 Alia Shbeeb
Mar. '01 Qyana Griffith
Feb. '01 Reshmi Basu
Jan. '01 Yousuke Hamai
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