Amanda Criscito ('14, Psychology)
What do you do for your undergraduate research?
I am doing my undergraduate research in Dr. Bachmeyer’s Feeding and Behavior Lab (FAB Lab). The FAB Lab conducts research on pediatric feeding disorders. In the FAB lab we determine the causes of the children’s feeding disorders and implement effective treatment evaluations based on our findings. The evaluation and treatment for each participant is based on the concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Feeding disorders are diagnosed when a child does not consume an adequate quantity or variety of foods to sustain his/her nutritional status and/or grow (Piazza, 2008).
What made you want to pursue an undergraduate research project?
To have the opportunity to partake in undergraduate research allows students to develop a greater understanding of their area of interest. For myself, being able to see real life examples of what I have learned in class makes understanding the material extremely better. To have to ability to watch how participants improve using the strategies learned in class, allows me to understand when and why to use them in particular situations. Another important factor in pursing an undergraduate research project is having the opportunity to gain experience in my field of choice.
It isn’t required to do research as an undergrad, so what advantages do you think this experience has provided you?
By doing undergraduate research, it puts you one step above everyone else in terms of experience and applying your knowledge and understanding of your field. Your research will make you stand out in a group of applicants and set you apart from minimal requirements.
Was doing your own research fun? Be honest.
Yes! There is a lot of work that goes into undergraduate research, but it definitely pays off. My understanding for Applied Behavior Analysis would have never been where it is now if it wasn’t for my undergraduate research. I can now feel confident in my understanding of the material and when and why to apply different concepts I have learned.
What recognition and/or grants did you receive for your research?
I received an Undergraduate Research Supplies Grant from UNCW and CSURF this Fall, and I plan on Applying for a Undergraduate Research Travel Award so I can present research in the Spring.