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pictured above left to right: Joseph (Cody) Statler and Shannon Barter

The Summer Scholars program is one of the many ways students can become involved in research on campus. Each year, students apply for a summer scholarship to work with a faculty advisor to complete their own research project. Research projects come from a variety of topics and disciplines from fine arts to chemistry. This year, thirteen students were chosen as 2016 Summer Scholars. Two of them are Joseph (Cody) Statler and Shannon Barter.

Cody is a rising senior who was a Health and Human Performance major but will be switching to an Art major. His project is titled “Transforming Text to Image: Illustrating a Children’s Story,” in which he will create artwork for a picture book. Cody decided to apply for the program because he felt it would give him the time and resources to complete his project without any distractions.

“I decided to pursue this project because I am interested in pursuing illustration after I graduate from Roanoke. This project was something I was already interested in doing, but due to the time commitment required and the complexity of creating enough illustrations to accompany this story I did not think it would be possible for me to ever complete.”

“The challenges I face while completing this project are creating illustrations that successfully tell the narrative of this story while simultaneously feeling life-like and captivating the interest of the audience, both parents and their children.”

Shannon is also a rising senior majoring in Biology. Her project is titled “The Socioeconomic Barriers that Limit the Use of Intrauterine Devices and other Long Acting Reversible Devices.” For research, Shannon will be investigating the socioeconomic barriers to the utilization of intrauterine devices and other long-acting reversible contraceptives.

“We are trying to understand why IUDs are not used very frequently in the United States, despite their remarkable effectiveness. Many forms of birth control require the user to use them frequently and correctly, which leaves a large window for human error and drastically reduces their effectiveness. The IUD avoids that issue by being inserted into the uterus for 3 to 10 years (depending on the brand), but women who would be excellent candidates for the IUD still chose to remain with the more inferior forms of birth control, such as the pill or condoms. We will be focusing on three sociological theories that we believe will help uncover some of the mystery surrounding low IUD utilization rates.”

Shannon became interested in the project after being involved in the school organization Students for Equality. She applied for the Summer Scholars program because she saw the opportunity to branch out of biology and into the social sciences for more information about educating women and their bodies.

“The hardest part of this project is finding the appropriate resources. The information is out there, but it has never been composed in a comprehensive way. The scientific and social perspectives are published in very separate and distinct ways, which makes it difficult for a woman looking for IUD answers to make sense of the information. Additionally, we see a lot of biased opinion surrounding the IUD. Women tell the horror stories and not the facts surrounding the situations. Although challenging, this project definitely fills a need that exists in both the scientific and sociological disciplines, which is both satisfying and reassuring.”

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