Student Research: Garett Foster, Psychology Major

Research Project: Burnout and Intention to Leave: The Effects of Engagement, Workload, Course Difficulty, and Year in School (Faculty Mentor: Teresa Heckert, Professor of Psychology)

Garett Q: How did you find a research mentor?
A: I served on Dr. Heckert’s research team. Knowing that my field of interest was Dr. Heckert’s specialty, I asked her to be my research mentor, and she agreed.

Q: What did you do for your TruScholars project?
A: I studied burnout in college students. I wanted to know if burnout was related to the separate constructs of engagement and intention to leave. My goal was to see if I found results similar to those found by researchers who worked in the European school system. My results were exactly what I was hoping to find.

Q: What advice would you give to students who want to get involved in research?
 A: Visit your department’s website or go speak with your faculty advisor to find out what research professors in your department are working on. Then go visit the professor whose research most interests you and ask them if they have any openings on their research team.

Q: How did you get started doing research?
A: I got my start in research by joining my professor’s research team. It was through the team that my interest in research grew, prompting me to look into the TruScholars program.

Q: What was the most rewarding part about carrying out research?
A: Getting my research accepted to a major research conference in my field was an incredible feeling.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of doing research and how did you overcome it?
A: The hardest part for me was going through the literature already published on the matter to find what has been studied so far. It was a lot of work, and it seemed very daunting at first. But I started with the first article that I found, read and took notes on it, and set it aside for possible future reference. I repeated this until I ran out of applicable articles.