What UROP program were you a part of?  

Changing Gears and Research Scholars. 

What made you choose UROP?

I chose UROP because I wanted to expose myself to the world of research. Being a transfer student and being new to the Ann Arbor campus as a junior, I felt that I had missed my opportunity to join a research lab because I had not made any connections with professors or done work in the field. However, UROP gave me the opportunity to work directly with a research mentor and a small team of UROP students.

The pinnacle of my experience in UROP came from my second year, when I was in the Research Scholars program. It was here that I met my new research mentor, Dr. Sarah Patterson. She allowed me to explore research as independently as I could be while still under her guidance, and together we co-authored a published book chapter that has been presented at a research conference. Thank you to Dr. Patterson for believing in me, taking the chance on mentoring an undergraduate student who had no prior exposure to her field of study.

What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?

I learned how to conduct a meta-analysis and synthesizing information to create a literature review of the state of a research topic. I learned how to optimize my time in forward/backward searching, using key terms to find additional research articles, and how to discern which publications met criteria for the literature review. I learned how to create annotated bibliographies and how to properly format writing in the APA and Chicago styles. Additionally, Dr. Patterson gave me plenty of opportunities for professional development, primarily by letting me set my own work schedule and how much I could contribute to the project given my own class schedule.

What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?

I still keep in touch often with my Research Scholars research mentor, Dr. Sarah Patterson. I consider her to be one of my biggest role models in my undergraduate career. She has demonstrated to me what it means to be a knowledgeable researcher, but more importantly, what it means to be a caring mentor. She continues to support me as a grad student through offering letters of recommendation, sending me resources that I may find a use for, and giving advice when I need it. She also supported me and checked up on how I was doing when I took a gap year between undergrad and grad school. Now, as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) at U-M, I invited Dr. Patterson to one of my lectures to give a presentation related to the topic for that week.

Where are you in your professional journey?

I am currently a Master of Social Work Student at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. My primary pathway is Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse. I am also an Integrated Health with Medically Underserved Populations (IHMUP) Scholar, in which I will practice social work in medically underserved communities. Additionally, I am a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for the Department of Psychology at U-M and I currently teach Psych 211.005, which is the Biopsychosocial Medicine section of Project Outreach.

During my gap year, I was a Psychiatric Care Specialist at Havenwyck Hospital in Auburn Hills, MI, from May 2021 to June 2022.

What advice would you give to a current UROP student?

My piece of advice for current UROP students is to ask for support whenever you need it. Your research mentors are there to supplement your learning experience, and there is no such thing as a bad question. Additionally, I would suggest advocating for yourself. If you feel like your research experience is not what you expected it to be, have the conversation with your research mentor and express to them what you are looking for.

What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?

Patterson, S. E., & Arche, A. A. (2021). Aging, work, and caregiving: Current knowledge and directions for future research. In Fideler, E. F. (Ed.), The Rowman & Littlefield handbook on aging and work (pp. 371-389). The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.

Is there any other advice you would like to impart to current or future UROP students?

Be as engaged as you can, because you only get out of it what you put in. Do not shy away, rise up to the challenge and be a part of the research team.