Undergraduate Research Spotlight

November 2017

Natalie Wodniak presenting her research.This Month's Spotlight: Making a Difference! 

Natalie Wodniak (Class of 2018), a double major in Environmental Studies and Humanitarian Studies, with a minor in Biological Sciences, set out to make a difference. As a student with interdisciplinary ideas and goals, she creatively fused together her interests in traditional medicine and the refuge crisis. With the support of a FCRH Summer Research Grant, Natalie traveled to cities in Indiana, New York, and Texas where she interviewed Burmese refuges to learn about their health care experiences in the U.S. Her research showed that refuges from Burma, although they are satisfied when they do seek health care services, largely describe that these are not attuned to their traditional practices which is a barrier to help-seeking.  This project had personal meaning for Natalie as well:

When I traveled and interacted with over 40 Burmese refugees now resettled in the U.S., I gained a new perspective. Hearing their stories was incredible; the human dimension of my research gave me a much deeper understanding of both the horrors these refugees faced in Burma and the lives they now live in America. 

Her findings suggest important links to well-being and health care costs with implications for policy and practice. Natalie has already presented her work at the 5th Annual Bronx Science Consortium Research Poster Symposium and is preparing additional dissemination. We can't wait for more!

The Scope and Impact of Undergraduate Research

Each month, Fordham College at Rose Hill is proud to share highlights from our thriving undergraduate research program. Our students are actively involved in faculty-mentored research across disciplines, participating in a range of activities including utilizing state of the art equipment in our labs, meeting with patients in medical settings, spending time in the community interviewing and surveying members to achieve a greater understanding of historical and contemporary questions, reviewing source data in New York City and even around the world, as well as collecting specimens in the field for our many projects based in environmental settings. Excitingly, our students' contributions have considerable impact in their respective fields and to their professional development.