My new friend Kyu Laie Thu!


Working with the students through CSEAS was a life changing experience.  The student I was partnered with was Kyu Laie Thu. She is from Yangon, Myanmar and earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in English. Kyu has worked as an English language instructor in Yangon, Burma where she taught English to police officers from the area. (Super cool!) Kyu has also worked as a librarian for the Information Center for Every Youth in Yangon, Burma. During our first lunch together, Kyu added a small amounts of everything the cafeteria had to offer to her plate. I was fascinated to see how open-minded Kyu was to try new food.  I adored how she was just as excited to meet me as I was to meet her and learn more about her culture. She wanted to learn everything and anything about the American culture and what it is like to be an NIU student. One of my favorite questions from Kyu was “What hanging out stuff do you do here?” I answered, “Shopping, eating, and watching movies.” Kyu immediately responded, “OMG! Me too!” This event helped me learn more about her culture, food, politics, and values. I think it is essential to attract foreign students to attend NIU so we learn more about the world around us so we can understand one another better. When I shared ideas and values with Kyu I was surprised to learn that we weren’t that different from each other.  I would certainly partner with a foreign exchange student to learn not only about the difference among our cultures but also the similarities. I was happy and excited to hear that Kyu plans on coming back to study at NIU (My interpretation …I would be able to spend more time with her) but I was also curious to learn why…I asked her, “Why NIU? Personally, I love this school so much! I don’t see myself attending any other school.” Kyu responded, “NIU’s Center for Burma Studies makes me feel at home. Everyone is so nice here!”



NIU Community

My name is Noemi Rodriguez. I am a senior biology major with a minor in chemistry.

The expectations I have for myself throughout the Huskies Service Scholars Program are to provide a positive mentorship experience where NIU students can grow professionally and develop leadership skills. I will provide guidance, support, resources, and opportunities to my mentees. I will also help my mentees become familiar and comfortable with our campus. Serving the NIU community is my way of giving back to our NIU community. I was very lucky to have had a mentor since the beginning of my freshman year at NIU. My mentor changed my life completely! She helped me realize anything and everything is possible! I would not be where I am at today if it wasn’t for her! I want to have that impact on my mentees.

New Mentor!

Last week, I met with my new mentor, Dr. Herrmann. Our discussion was on how I will compare and determined which of our three prevention strategies (strategies that help prevent adolescent boys from abusing others sexual) works best. As of right now, I will be reviewing and comparing successful interventions representing 1) therapy, 2) education, and 3) targeted primary prevention. Based on my analysis and the help of my new mentor, Dr. Herrmann, I will determine which intervention works best.

The Advantage of Undergraduate Research

The Advantage of Undergraduate Research

My experience conducting research, as an undergraduate college student, has been breathtaking and life changing.  I have learned so much information over the past year and a half. Dr. Julia Spears and Mrs. Rachel Tripod, from The Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, are two individuals who work extremely hard to make sure every Research Rookie is successful. Mentoring the newer Research Rookies has been an honor.  I am so appreciative to be part of their learning experience.

My research study is very a rewarding experience. I have the opportunity to help contribute answers to our nation’s current public health issues. Even though I am not able to get some answers overnight, I am dedicating the rest of my life to do it. This is the advantage I have for starting my research career early. I have two amazing mentors, Dr. Sally Conklin and Dr. Lynn Herrmann from the College Of Human Health and Sciences, who assisted me this entire time.  I could not have done without them!

The best part about conducting research is presenting my research.  I enjoyed presenting my research study last year at the 2012 Undergraduate and Artistry Day. Getting feed back on my research study has enabled me to develop more effective ways to conduct my research study.

The most difficult part for me has been getting in touch with experts on adolescent male sexual abusers. On February 22, 2013 I will be present my research study at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health’s Annual Minority Health in the Midwest Conference. Hopefully, I will get in contact with a few experts at this conference. I am so ready for this conference!

Research Update

For the past few weeks, I have been working with my mentor, Dr. Conklin to continue our research on Child Sexual Abuse by Adolescent Boys: Comparing 3 Prevention Strategies. One difficult part about my research was finding literature focused on adolescent boys who sexually abuse children. I met with a librarian last week and she helped me navigate the library online catalog. The librarian also helped me explore so much more like the Wordcat, E-brary, Database A to Z. Thanks to her help, I was able to FINALLY find one book focused on adolescent boys who sexually abuse children. I was also able to find many other reliable resources.

Finding professionals who work with the adolescents who abuse children sexually was the most difficult part of my research last year. This year, I started working with Mr. Jared Thiemann from the Department of Counseling at Idaho State University. Mr. Thiemann has been doing working with youth who sexually offend for about four years now.  I am honored to have the opportunity to work with an expert on my topic. I plan to schedule an interview with Mr. Theimann to learn more about the behaviors of youth who sexually offend and what has and has not worked for them. I am really looking forward to this interview.

SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) National Science Conference in Seattle, Washington

SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) National Science Conference in Seattle, Washington

Hello Research Rookies!!

This past week Lupe Lopez, Elaine Rodriguez, and I attended SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) National Science Conference in Seattle, Washington. We had the amazing opportunity to present our research projects to scientist, SACNAS staff, PH.D/ MD Doctors, graduate students, undergraduate students, and professors from the top institutions in the United States. This a life changing experience. This conference would not have been possible without the help and support of Dr. Spears, Director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning. Thank you Dr. Spears! I would also like to thank everyone else who made this conference possible: Director of the Latino Resource Center, Dr. Emily Prieto, Office Support Associate for the Latino Resource Center, Lisa Vargen, The University Honors Program, The Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Lisa C. Freeman, Office Support Specialist from Human Health and Sciences, Varsie Geisler, and my mentor, Dr. Sally Conklin from the College of Human Health and Sciences, ! Thank you!

Research Approach

This past week my mentor Dr.Conklin and I were unable to meet (we will be meeting this upcoming Tuesday). During our last meeting we discussed the different types of research approaches. The two main research approaches are Quantitative Research and Qualitative Research but there are many more approaches like the Naturalistic Observation approach and Cross Sectional approach. We also discussed the importance of ethical, valid, and reliable research studies. This upcoming week my mentor and I plan to figure out which approach is best our study.