alumni Q&A with Ashley Metelus

USFSM ‘15, interdisciplinary social sciences

What are you doing now?

Currently I am a research and evaluation assistant at Horizons for Homeless Children, where I am responsible for all the internal data and statistics. It is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of young homeless children in Massachusetts and help their families succeed by providing high-quality early education, opportunities for play and comprehensive family support services.

What types of research did you conduct as an undergraduate student at USFSM? Besides research coursework, there were three main research experiences that I had. In the summer of 2013, I was able to travel to Africa with Jody McBrien, PhD, to conduct a research project on the educational challenges that students faced during and after the war in Lira, Uganda. From 2014 to 2015, I participated in the USFSM Honors Program, in which I wrote an undergraduate thesis about Haitian-American college students’ motivations for pursuing post-secondary education. In the summer of 2014, I participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the University of Virginia, in which I utilized existing data to create a research project on the association between youth adult relationships and youths’ future aspirations.

Do you feel that the skills you gained at USFSM benefited you in graduate school? Currently, I am a graduate student at Boston College obtaining a master’s in Educational Research Methodology. I felt that I was ahead of my classmates because of the prior research skills and experiences from my undergraduate degree at USFSM. When beginning graduate school, I had prior knowledge of the content that was being taught in my courses.

Do you have any advice for students?

I would tell them to take advantage of and participate in all the research opportunities that are being offered to them! They may not see the benefits while they are participating, but it will be beneficial once they start their career and/or graduate school.

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