Student Profile: Senior Psychology Major Kyra Fogg and Professor Angela Neal-Barnett, Ph.D.
What kind of research did you do in the SURE program?
Dr. Angela: Kyra's SURE experience involves being part of a grant-funded project addressing intergenerational trauma among pregnant Black mothers and their children. The team includes a doula, a music therapist, a grad student in the psychology department, a community member and a postbaccalaureate student.
Fogg: I'm on the music intervention team of this whole group. The group is a multilevel intervention group and there's musical intervention, trauma-based intervention which involves written exposure therapy, and there's positive parenting trainings for mothers and their children. Specifically, I'm on the music intervention team. This summer I've been creating the manual for the music intervention. In the manual I basically explain how you can complete the intervention and the training that is required for it. I've also been doing recruitment flyers for our intervention, which we're hoping to start in September.
Why do you enjoy involving undergraduate students in your research? What are the characteristics of a good mentor/mentee relationship in the SURE program?
Dr. Angela: We are involved in this project, in this area of infant mortality, Black mother morbidity and mortality, because Black babies and Black mothers are dying. There are many ways to address this issue, most of which take a physical health approach. Through research, though, we know that mental health and emotional health is just as important. We are doing an emotional health intervention
What makes a good SURE mentor I think is having good graduate students and a good team in the labs. One of the things that I do is pair the undergraduate student with a graduate student so that they're working with that graduate student directly. You need open lines of communication and the mentor should be willing to do the things that are laid out by the SURE program.
How has the SURE program impacted your overall experience here at Kent State?
Fogg: I've never really done the work that I've been doing with the SURE program, and within our group, before. This is a really amazing opportunity for me. I've never made a manual before so I'm getting the chance to do that, and it's definitely a resume booster. I'm really fortunate to be in this program and with this group.
What advice would you give to a younger student who's interested in getting involved in research?
Fogg: I would say to start right away with research. I just applied to a random lab that I found on the Kent State psychology website and it didn't matter if it aligned with my interests, because at first you should just join anything that can give you more experience.
How have you watched your undergraduate student grow during their time with the SURE program?
Dr. Angela: What I've seen is this young woman go from saying "I'm so excited to be someone who's a part of this lab," which she still is, to someone who is really taking on more of a leadership role in music intervention by preparing the manual and recruitment flyers.