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Undergraduate Research Center

Kera Reynolds

  • SOAR Position: Member; Alumni
  • Major: English
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Amy Korstange

Current Focus: First Generation Students Finding Their Identities Living in Student Housing

Additional Interests: Student Housing; Social Justice; DEI; Student Campus Life; Race and Rhetoric; Identity

Project Description

I am still at the beginning of my project, but during my time living and working in Housing and Residential life, I have noticed residents and those working in Housing exploring their identities and identities of others they meet. I have even noticed this in myself. I want to explore the “why” in this by conducting interviews with students living in Housing and Residential Life on our campus. I want to ask questions such as “do you understand your identity?” “How do you identify yourself?” etc. I also want to look into schools that may have a lower commuter rate and schools that may have first year living requirement to see if there are any patterns.

Why does this topic interest you?

I have been working in Housing and Residential Life for over two years and love the community and the people part of the community. I have noticed in myself and in others that students living and working in Housing seem to be so open about learning about their own identities and identities of others. I really want to explore the factors that lead into this.

What are your professional aspirations?

I want to go into Higher Ed administration to either work in Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, Conduct, or continue in Housing as a director. I eventually want to become VP of Student Affairs. Eventually, I can see myself completing research in D.C. and presenting my research to not only better our school systems but for all of us to understand ALL students and find better ways to help them succeed. It would be amazing! On the side, I would love to continue my hobbies of writing poetries and short stories and creating art.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

This is my first year that I am really completing a research project. But I feel like I have done research my entire life. Just by observing your environment, asking why things happen, and being curious and willing to learn new things, especially things you are interested in, you are already doing research. Another piece of advice don’t be afraid to ask professors or faculty members if they are working on research and need help. They are willing to help in any way they can, even if they cannot directly work with you in research.

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Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

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Contact us

Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669 
Jamie.Burriss@mtsu.edu

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588 
Casey.Penston@mtsu.edu

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