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Student Highlights

Caroline Hale, Undergraduate Researcher
03 Nov 2020
Written By
Military REACH Project Manager
Caroline Hale is an undergraduate student studying Human Development and Family Science at Auburn University and an undergraduate researcher with Military REACH. Her role with REACH requires her to assist with a variety of research-related tasks ranging from adding holdings to the REACH Library, drafting social media posts, to writing Family Focus articles. Through her time with REACH, she has proven she is focused, determined, and eager to learn. She’s also not afraid to ask questions and always aims to produce high-quality work. Continue reading to learn more about Caroline.

1. What have been the primary tasks you have worked on for Military REACH?

As an undergraduate assistant, I work on anything that needs extra help first and foremost. My main task has been working on metadata documents. This is part of the beginning stages involved with adding holdings to the Military REACH Library. I have the very detailed task of analyzing research articles and books to find the main points. For example, these points include locating the publisher, military branch involved, and key terms for the article/book. Additionally, I help write social media captions based on TRIP reports from the REACH library.

2. How do you think Military REACH has helped you work towards your future career endeavors as a Child Life Specialist?

Military REACH has been very important in helping me grow as an aspiring Child Life Specialist. In hospitals, one will encounter many different types of people and a Child Life Specialist will need to understand how to help them all. Being able to see the military side of some families helps me understand more of how I can help the families around me. For example, I have a better understanding of what family members go through when a parent is deployed or how that may affect the coping skills of the family. When a Child Life Specialist has a better idea of how the family works, she or he can better target their care to what works best for them.

3. What are some of the primary tasks of a Child Life Specialist, and when did you first realize you wanted to become one?

Child Life Specialists are responsible for many different tasks in the hospital. Anything that deals with a child, whether as the patient or family member of a patient, involves a Child Life Specialist. The main task that they are responsible for is taking medical terms and explaining them in a way that coincides with the child’s developmental level. For example, explaining that an IV is a small tube for water and medications that will help one feel better.

When I started at Auburn University, I was premed and wanted to be a fertility doctor. Not long after taking those courses, I realized that it wasn’t my passion. I love hospitals, but I didn’t see myself as the doctor. I looked back on my life and realized how much of a passion I have for children. I love being able to mentor them and just see the light in their eyes grow as they smile or laugh. That’s when I figured out that I could combine my love for children and hospitals. When I was told about Child Life Specialists and what they do, everything clicked. I knew I found something that I could love for a very long time.

4. What is something that is important to you?

The most important thing to me is family. I am a firm believer in optimism and finding the silver lining. Both of these things can be seen through the lens of a family. One doesn’t have to be biologically related to someone for them to have the same bond. To me, it means someone, or multiple people, are there for you. They are there for you when you’re happy or sad. Family is really anyone that makes you feel at home when you’re around them. You don’t need to have a lot of friends; all you need is a family.

5. What are three words you would use to describe yourself and why?

I would describe myself as outgoing, positive, and caring.

Outgoing because I have always been an extrovert and the life of the party. Most of the time you’ll see me laughing, talking to people, or practically bouncing off the walls. My internal battery is charging when I’m around people. I feel the happiest when I am able to be social.

Positive because there is always a bright side. I don’t like the way I am when I am sad or angry. I think the world is a hard place, but with positivity, you can make it through anything. Problems are only as bad as you make them out to be. Life is too short to dwell in anything but the positive moments.

Caring because I love people and just want everyone to be happy. I am a very empathetic person and tend to take on the emotions of others. I often struggle with pouring from an empty cup. To me, I will never be content if I know someone else close to me is having a hard time. To bring myself happiness, I need to be helping others find their own happiness.

Students are an integral part of Military REACH because they provide our team with a new perspective, high-quality products, and invaluable assistance. Continue to look out for our Student Highlights, where we will feature students from our team and will highlight the contributions they have made not only to our team, but to the larger military community.

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