My Brackenridge: Sivan Lurie

Throughout my time as a Brackenridge fellow, my understanding of research and scholarly work has changed a lot. I learned more about the wide scope of research and I gained a better understanding of what research looks like in different fields. In addition to this, one of the most important lessons I learned involved troubleshooting. In retrospect, it feels completely unreasonable that I had ever expected my project to go off without a hitch. However, when I faced my first obstacle in the research process, I was shocked and felt as though there was something wrong with me and my abilities as an undergraduate researcher. As I began speaking to my fellow fellows I learned very quickly that everyone in the fellowship was running into obstacles whether it be IRB approval, lab issues, funding issues, time management difficulty, or in my case trouble with human subjects and study design. Brackenridge has taught me that one of the most important qualities that a researcher can possess is flexible thinking. Through this fellowship my self-doubt centering having problems has been helped immensely and my abilities as a rubber-band thinker have grown.

These conversations with other Brackenridge recipients have been the most valuable part of this experience as a whole. Learning from people who are working in a variety of different disciplines has helped me grow in several ways. In addition to my general knowledge about research growing, my perspective on how to address questions and how to look at problems has also really helped. Furthermore, my ability to communicate my research to a general audience has really transformed for the better.

Now that Brackenridge is over, I hope to continue along with this project. Having passed my preliminary approval for the Honors Thesis in Psychology, I am now looking to apply to complete the BPhil Thesis. As I am entering into my final year at the University of Pittsburgh, I am working on applying to a PhD program in Developmental Psychology for the future. i have really loved conducting research and want to continue doing it for as long as I am able. As I end the summer, I would like to thank my research mentor Dr. Libertus for all of her help throughout this process as well as Dr. Say who has headed the Brackenridge program. This summer opportunity to do research has been incredibly inspiring and honestly life changing. I am so thankful to these mentors for all of their help this summer.

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