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The Work Study Research Assistant program (WSRA) is a large program that contains many students from different parts of the college. Freshmen and seniors, biology and history majors, and everything in between can become a research assistant. Sabrina McAllister, a freshman at Roanoke College, is an example of just one of the many students in the WSRA program. Sabrina works in the Psychology department under Dr. Lindsey Osterman. She began her research last semester.

Sabrina was very excited to do research here at Roanoke.

“I came to Roanoke for all the research opportunities; I wasn’t going to miss out! Doing research with a faculty member is a huge step away from just classroom lectures. It allows you to apply what you learn to the ‘real-world’ and enhances your general experience. Not to mention, it’s a fantastic resume-builder.”

While doing research under Dr. Osterman, Sabrina learned she really enjoyed working one on one with a professor.

“Working directly with a professor is really helpful. They are able to connect you to a whole lot of people in or around their field, which is great when looking for internships, scholarships, and other opportunities. I meet fairly regularly with my professor and we talk a lot casually too; I feel that she is getting to know me as a person rather than just another student in a class.”

For anyone looking into becoming a work study research assistant, Sabrina says:

“Find a professor you click with and ask them about their research, if they have any (most do). Even if they can’t offer you a position, they will likely be able to direct you to someone who can. What you research doesn’t even have to be directly related to your major. It’s really important, though, that you seize the opportunities available to you. Roanoke has lots, so just start looking for them.”

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