(334) 844-3299

Student Highlights

Kristyn Waldron, Research Team
01 August 2020
Written By
Military REACH Project Manager
We connected with Kristyn Waldron, undergraduate research, to learn about her experience working with Military REACH. Although the spring 2020 semester started as any other, it quickly changed due to COVID-19 and by mid-March the entire REACH team was working remotely. Kristyn had not been with the team long before switching to remote work, but that did not slow her down. She wrote a TRIP report, assisted with outreach efforts, added almost 100 articles to the REACH Library, wrote a reflective piece, and was even granted a Research Fellowship that will allow her to complete her own research project beginning fall 2020. We are so proud of all that she accomplished in just one, very unusual, semester – way to go Kristyn! Continue reading to learn more about Kristyn’s experience as an undergraduate researcher during the spring 2020 semester.

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

I was interested in working on the Military REACH project because it is so unique in comparison to other research. I appreciate that REACH wants to make research accessible and easy to understand for everyone, not just for other researchers. REACH is providing resources for the people that need it, whether that is helping to inform policy makers, families, or helping professionals. I very much believe everyone should be a part of something bigger than themselves, and that is exactly what REACH is doing.

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

As an undergraduate research assistant, I have learned a lot about the logistics of research. I am able to see how research is developed. Many of the things that I learned have been from just listening to other people on the research team. It is very interesting to see how the resources at REACH are developed and come together. Everyone is very helpful in explaining the processes in how different resources are created, from TRIP reports to social media to the Dictionary.

3. Is there anything that surprised you about your experience?

I have been surprised at how fun research can be. Everyone on the team is so nice! It makes being a part of REACH even better. Being a part of the Military REACH project has been much more fun than I had anticipated.

4. What have you enjoyed most?

I have enjoyed seeing all of the work that goes into each of the different aspects of REACH. I am definitely able to appreciate things more now that I have seen all that goes into it. Everything on the REACH website, from the TRIP reports to the graphic design, take a lot of time and thought to create. It is very cool getting to see the development side of it.

5. Which of your tasks have made you proud?

I am most proud of completing the metadata for the articles on the REACH website. The task is sometimes tedious, but it is so rewarding when you see all of the information published on the website. I was able to learn a lot while I did this. I sifted through articles to find things like who the participants were and what kind of study was done. It was helpful because I learned different things like common research terms and how to identify the research method being used in each study.

6. What did you learn about yourself during your experience?

I learned how much I enjoy outreach efforts. When I first started doing some outreach, I was calling installations asking if we could send them information about REACH. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I started to really enjoy it. I know that the resources we have available can help many people, so it is exciting to get to share it with others.

7. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered, and how did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges is that I have a limited knowledge about research. I do not always understand what the other researchers are talking about, because they have more experience than I do. To overcome this challenge, I ask a lot of questions. Every day in the “lab” (either physically or remotely), I come across something new to learn. People on the team are always very kind to take the time to explain things to me.

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

This experience has prepared me for graduate school. I am hoping to attend graduate school for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I know that I will need to be familiar with research for graduate school and as a mental health counselor. Being part of the REACH team has taught me a lot about research. I have learned about what makes research reliable, how to understand what data is conveying, and I have learned research terms that I would not otherwise know. Military REACH’s outreach efforts have also provided valuable experience. As a mental health counselor, I will provide people resources and be a part of prevention efforts. To do this, I will need to have skills in reaching out to people who need the information that I have. Military REACH has been a great example for effective outreach efforts.
This website uses cookies to improve the browsing experience of our users. Please review Auburn University’s Privacy Statement for more information. Accept & Close