Alexia Kingzette was first introduced to the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL) her freshman year when she joined Research Rookies. Currently in her second year with the program, Kingzette is now a peer mentor. As a psychology major, she was not sure what field she wanted to specialize in, so she thought doing research would be an excellent way to explore deeper into her field of study and would show her more about it than any regular class could.
“Being involved in Research Rookies has impacted my college experience by giving me opportunities I otherwise would not have had,” Kingzette explains, “it has enhanced my writing, speaking, and networking skills, and has brought me closer to my faculty mentor as well.”
Students in the Research Rookies program learn how to write a research proposal, use data analysis and how to present results. It is beneficial for students, like Kingzette, who are planning on going into graduate school.
Kingzette plans to receive her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and will most likely have to complete a master’s thesis. She says the Research Rookies program has given her the skills and confidence she will need to complete this in the future.
In addition to this research-based program, the OSEEL office offers many opportunities for students from volunteering and tutoring children within the DeKalb community to student-travel grants for helping those in need to working in the Communiversity Gardens. These opportunities–and more–allow students to expand their awareness, gain valuable skills that enable them to succeed and set them apart from the rest.
Kingzette encourages other students and future Huskies to get involved at NIU.
“The OSEEL programs are focused on students getting valuable experiences and connecting them with different people on campus,” Kingzette says, “I think it’s important to share my story with others because it can feel intimidating to get involved with something new when you first start college, but you definitely should. It’s such a great experience.”
Research Rookies is geared to undergraduate first-years, sophomores and first-semester transfer students seeking research projects with professors. Applications are currently open for all majors until Sunday, April 29. Applications for Research Rookies peer mentors are due Sunday, March 11.
For more information on OSEEL programs, visit go.niu.edu/oseel.