Faculty Mentors: Morna O’Neill and Jake Ruddiman
When you entered Wake Forest as a first-year student, did you anticipate being able to pursue research with a faculty member?
No, I actually did not anticipate or seek the opportunity to pursue mentored research when I first entered Wake as a freshman.
How and when did you learn about mentored research and the URECA Center?
My faculty advisor Morna O’Neill informed me about the URECA Center my sophomore year.
What led you to become involved in research as an undergraduate?
I wrote my first research paper the first semester of my freshman year, and I actually really enjoyed it. I found myself spending time with books in the library, compiling and analyzing information, and learned that I love research.
Can you describe the relationship you have had with some of your faculty members? What did you learn? How did you learn that?
I have a very close relationship with Dr. Morna O’Neill. She is really open and so much fun to work with! I always look forward to talking with her and Dr. Jake Ruddiman. Dr. Ruddiman taught me how to analyze big picture information and structure my writing to best convey a specific message.
How has URECA influenced your ideas about scholarship and your life passions or work?
URECA has had a very positive impact on my scholarship. It made me realize that I am definitely a scholar at heart, and it inspired me to develop ideas about my future at a very crucial time, the summer before my senior year. I am very interested in working in an art museum researching future exhibitions and presenting history to the public in an interesting way.
Is there anything else you would like to say about your experience doing mentored research?
Mentored research is a fantastic opportunity that is very unique to Wake Forest. It is indicative of the scholarly atmosphere on campus because it encourages faculty-student collaboration in a way that ignites new passions in a student’s studies.