This week, we are highlighting Rachel Strickland! She is a sophomore at FSU majoring in Criminology. Through the UROP program, she is working with Dr. Vincenzo Olivett on a project entitled “Physiological Implications for Implicit Threat Evaluations of the Police”. She describes her research interests as specifically focused on hate crimes, gun violence, and physical violence – all rising issues in our modern world. Before starting the UROP program in the Fall of 2021, Rachel had no formal research experience, but now she says she has fallen in love with research! “I am now planning on pursuing a Ph.D. in criminology”, she explains. We know you will have many enriching years of research to come, Rachel!
Rachel says her favorite part about UROP has been immersing herself in the world of research as a whole. Many undergraduates are unfamiliar with the realities of research and the complexity of the process – throughout her colloquium class lessons and assistantship experience, she explains that she has really enjoyed learning about each step of the research process. “Each time I work in the lab, I learn something new!”, she recounts. While beginning your research journey can be daunting, Rachel credits her research team with providing her with the support she needs to succeed. “I really enjoy the people I work with,” she says, “which is always a bonus!”
Rachel understands firsthand the initial stress related to choosing a project and finding a mentor, which is why she encourages future UROP students to keep an open mind. She believes all research experience is valuable, explaining, “As a creative writing major, you can do research in neuroscience and as an engineering major, you can study Shakespeare! The possibilities are truly endless.” With the wide range of project types, mentors, and focus areas that the UROP program offers, everyone is guaranteed to further develop their skills and learn something new.
When she’s not working on her project, Rachel has fun enjoying all the experiences Florida State offers! Recently, she has been going to the FSU basketball games, taking her dog to the park, and playing card games on Landis Green with her roommates! Thank you for your hard work and dedication towards the UROP program, Rachel – we are confident that you will be successful at the symposium and in your future endeavors!