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Student Highlights

Allie Krumm, Research Team
6 May 2020
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Military REACH Research Associate
Allie Krumm is an energetic senior in Human Development and Family Studies at Auburn University. Allie joined the Military REACH team in August of 2019. As a military child, Allie brought fresh perspectives and unique experiences that have helped improve the products that Military REACH produces. Some of Allie’s most notable contributions during her time at Military REACH include coordinating social media posts and meetings, co-leading the supplemental materials project for the Retaining high-quality employees report, and authoring The at home partners’ guide to healthy behaviors. Allie is described by her colleagues as contagiously humorous, a team player, passionate, authentic, and deeply empathetic. We are thankful for all that Allie has contributed to Military REACH this year. To learn more about Allie and her experience as an Undergraduate Researcher at Military REACH, check out our conversation below.

1. Why interested you in working on the Military REACH project?

I grew up in a military family, and the experiences and skills I’ve gained from that have had a heavy influence on the person I am today. I have always had a heart for the military and their families, so when one of my instructors, Ben Burke, spoke in class about the research lab he worked for, it was a no brainer that I needed to look into REACH. After a lot of personal research, I fell in love with the goals and mission of the project and jumped at the opportunity.

2. Describe your experience as an Undergraduate Researcher with REACH.

As an undergraduate researcher, I’ve had the privilege of taking over our social media coordination and assignments for the team. It’s been a great challenge to me to learn how to accurately convey research findings in 280 characters or less! Various other projects I’ve worked on, like the family article I wrote, have pushed me to be the best researcher and student I can be!

3. What task have you worked on that has made you proud?

The task I’m the most proud of has been the family article I wrote entitled The at-home partner’s guide to healthy behaviors. While there was a challenge to find articles to contribute to the message I wanted to convey, it was also difficult for me to bring in my personal experience with deployment with my significant other last year. Tapping back into those feelings from deployment was hard, but I was thankful I had the experience to make my article more relatable and personal.

4. What have you enjoyed most about your experience with REACH?

I have enjoyed working with this team. The people in this lab are so hardworking and dedicated to the project and actively seek out ways to improve every day. I love how supportive they are of each other’s projects and ideas, always giving productive feedback and celebrating everyone’s accomplishments.

5. What have you learned about yourself during this experience?

I've learned I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for. I didn’t think I was capable of managing my time and staying organized and focused enough to be able to work so diligently in a lab like this. When you enjoy the work you do and get to see the amazing results of the work you put in, it makes you want to work even harder.

6. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered? How did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges I've had to face has been reading research. Like many who are not seasoned in the language, reading and understanding articles and statistics was not a natural skill I had when I came to REACH. Over the past several months of being in the lab, I’ve just read as many articles as I can and asked all the questions that crossed my mind. Thankfully, we have an incredibly smart team of people who read research every day and were able to help me when I got stuck. While I am still not an expert, I have overcome this challenge!

7. How has this experience helped to prepare for your future and career goals?

Coming into HDFS, I was really unsure of what I wanted to do. For the four years prior, I had wanted to be a nurse, and I was having to completely change my mindset and reassess my career goals. I knew I wanted to help people, and as long as I was doing that in some capacity I would feel fulfilled. Military REACH gave me the ability to see so many opportunities to help people and gave me an even bigger passion for military families. As I move towards graduation in August, I am actively searching for positions that work with the Veterans Affairs office and other military family-focused organizations, something I wouldn’t have thought to do had I not been inspired by this amazing team.
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