Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lighting, Vision, and Aging in Place: The Impact of Living with Low Vision in Independent Living Facilities

Jordan Sawyer, Migette L. Kaup*, Kansas State University

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v13/sawyer.html

Abstract: Due to the large influx of older adults choosing to live independently in retirement communities (Hegde & Rhodes, 2010), it is increasingly important that interior designers understand the physical and environmental challenges that these adults face. Visual impairments such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma make it difficult for adults with low vision to navigate the built environment (York, 2012). Improved quality of lighting in a space has the ability to help these users perform daily activities and, therefore, remain independent (Weinstein, 2011). Although independent living facilities have become an attractive housing option for many of these adults, several studies have concluded that the lighting levels in such residences are not adequate to meet the needs of low vision users (Bakker, Iofel & Lachs, 2004; Hegde & Rhodes, 2010; Lewis & Torrington, 2013). By analyzing recent case studies as well as conducting quantitative and qualitative research of lighting conditions in a local retirement community, conclusions were drawn as to what types and levels of lighting were common in these facilities and how these lighting schemes affected individuals with low vision. There were two components to the data collection: assess­ment of light levels through light meter readings and structured interviews with residents. Suggestions were made for current and future improvements of lighting design in independent living facilities based upon findings from the study.

Read the full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v13/sawyer.html

How Undergraduate Research Became More Than a Resumé Enhancement

Olivia Means

The 2012 Summer Research Institute at the Florida Mental Health Research Institute (SRI@FMHI) was my introduction to the research process. The most exciting thing about this experience was the opportunity to develop my own research study. I really had to spend time thinking about what I was interested in researching. I thought about my past experiences and I realized I was interested in how people access health care services and how certain barriers prevent people from gaining adequate care.

What I enjoyed most about my project, Barriers to Seeking Help for Mental Health Issues in Women Ages 22 – 64, was the opportunity to speak with women about their mental health issues, hiding symptoms and difficulties accessing care. I remember spending a lot of time at the homeless facility where I recruited one group of participants. Many of the women were uncomfortable sharing their mental health diagnosis or needed help filling out the questionnaire, so I talked with them and waited patiently until they were ready to share. After completing the questionnaire, one woman thanked me. I thought she was referring to the compensation, but then she said, "It’s just nice to know that someone is asking these questions." Another woman from my University sample group commented that she learned so much about herself by participating in my study. I was so pleased to hear comments like these.

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LinkedIn: A Researcher’s Secret Best Friend

Zachary K. Ochoa

At the beginning of this summer, I decided that I wanted to expand my portfolio to include a wider range of research experience and accomplishment. Therefore, I began to pursue the publication of research that I had already completed. I also began to seek new ideas for projects that I could undertake. Since setting my sights on these goals, I’ve been blessed with the privilege of having three of my scholarly papers published in online research journals. This could not have been possible had I not discovered the tremendous value of my secret weapon: LinkedIn.

I signed up for my LinkedIn account shortly after the end of this past spring semester. When I first got started, I had no intention of using it for any reason other than networking. Although LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for accomplishing this goal, there is another hidden value in it for those who are undertaking university research. When you explore the profile of another student in your field, there’s a good chance that they’ve posted about their projects, publications, achievements, etc. These posts are an immensely valuable resource for any undergraduate student researcher.

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Writing a Great Research Paper

Caitlyn Reese

Research papers aren’t easy. There’s so much work that goes into writing one, and doubly so if you want it to be a reliable paper. It may seem like you’re standing in front of an insurmountable cliff, but I have a few tips that can help you be the best research writer you can be, without driving yourself crazy! Plus, believe it or not, you may be able to turn what you think is just another paper, you trudged through for your composition class, into a publishable work of art. That is exactly what I decided to do with my final research paper for my sophomore writing class, and through perseverance and help from a great teacher, it was published in the URJHS. Here are some tips for you that will help, right from the start:

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Getting Started in Undergraduate Research

Zachary K. Ochoa

People hear almost everywhere that a Bachelor’s Degree isn’t worth what it used to be. Unfortunately, this is more or less the truth. With the right study habits, luck with professors, and good time management, it is really not that difficult for a good student to get a competitive GPA. This does not bode well for the individual student because, frankly, there are a lot of good students out there. So the important question then becomes how undergraduate students can set themselves apart from their peers in an increasingly competitive world.

It’s not the most complicated thing in the world to do well in classes. Most of the standard college courses require nothing more than repetition and memorization in order to pass. However, to make a contribution of your own to your field of choice is a different matter entirely. If students want to set themselves apart in today’s academia, they should pursue options in undergraduate research.

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