The reflections of two students who presented at RISE Expo this Spring and why it’s important for students who are research active to gather, share and present their work.
Ro Van Sloun:
When Professor Mann asked us if we wanted to submit our research on harm reduction training programs as a poster for the RISE expo, I was initially hesitant to take on another project in the middle of my senior spring semester. However, I had learned so much in my role as a research assistant and so I agreed. At this point in the semester, we had begun facilitating focus groups with students and program staff to discuss the Harm Reduction Training (HaRT) program. It was so empowering to sit in on these focus groups and hear how impactful the principles of harm reduction were, and how inspiring the internships were in motivating students to pursue a career in substance use disorder management.
And as we began collecting data for the second year of the study we were able to compare it to the results of the first year to see where the program could be improved for future dissemination. When the day of the RISE poster expo rolled around, I entered Matthews Arena and saw hundreds of students dressed in sleek suits standing proudly next to jaw-droppingly impressive research. I recognized so many of my friends and classmates who were involved in various projects. I was so inspired by their work in genetic testing, social media moderation, and healthy equity advocacy. They were working with major law firms, national nonprofit organizations, and one friend had even started his own company! I left RISE feeling so inspired and motivated, and I am deeply grateful to Professor Mann and my colleague Maddie Sonnenday for encouraging me to participate.
This semester I had the opportunity to create a poster for Northeastern’s RISE. I remember hearing about this event the year prior and thinking it sounded like a very cool opportunity to showcase research, but at the time I did not feel as though I had any research experience to showcase. This year I became a Healthy Equity intern for the RIZE MA project under the supervision of Professor Emily Mann through Northeastern’s Institute for Health, Equity, and Social Justice. Early on in my first semester working with Professor Mann’s team she mentioned the RISE poster expo. I was so excited because I now finally felt as though I had research worthy of presenting in this event but at the same time I was also nervous since I had only done one poster presentation before. To create my poster I looked at many research articles about RIZE MA and harm reduction. In addition, I incorporated qualitative data from past measures and focus groups conducted by Professor Mann’s team. The most nerve-wracking part of this experience for me was presenting to so many individuals at once at the poster expo. Although I was nervous at first to present, once I arrived at the Matthews arena I felt energized by the other presenters and their research. The RISE poster expo was an amazing event to meet fellow researchers at Northeastern and I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to present. I left the event feeling proud of the hard work my team consisting of Professor Mann, Ro Van Sloun, and myself put into making our poster and I am now eager to present at RISE again next year.