In March of 2015, Hayley Field, now a graduate from Roanoke College, presented her research at the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hayley was involved with the sociology department and travelled with fellow Roanoke College student Mariana Araujo, graduate student Stephanie Floyd, and Dr. Chad Morris.

Hayley decided to pursue research in her topic after her research methods class with Dr. Anderson.

“I chose the topic of refugees out of my interest in other cultures and thinking about how difficult and incomprehensible their lives are to individuals like myself, who have never had to worry about being persecuted for reasons such as race or religion. I wanted to create a study that looked more into their lives in order to learn more about the challenges they face. I wanted to ameliorate the many hardships they go through in any way possible by finding ways to help them feel better adapted and welcomed in their new host country. I then decided to apply for Summer Scholars so that I could actually carry out my proposal and the project expanded from there, after discussing it and making it more feasible with Dr. Mehrotra.”

Hayley enjoyed working with a professor one on one:

“It is a great way to form relationships with professors and allows you to learn on a much deeper and more personal level. These experiences really pushed me to work harder and gave me very valuable lessons that I would have never had without having such dedicated professors that were willing to guide me through the process of conducting my own research study.”

Hayley’s favorite part about the conference was learning about all the different research that anthropologists are doing around the world:

“I especially enjoyed going to the sessions that had to do with refugee and immigrant populations because it was a really neat feeling to be able to apply my research to other researchers’ work and find similarities between mine and their findings.”

For anyone interested in research, Hayley says:

“It isn’t that common that so many students are able to do their own research and work one on one with their professors, so it is definitely worth it to find something that you would enjoy doing, such as internships, independent studies, or summer scholars. It helps you get connected with professors and individuals in the community, and it also gives you a great advantage when applying to graduate school or jobs by having had such great experience in your undergraduate years.”

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