Graduate Assistants Help The Lincy Institute Begin Research
The development of The Lincy Institute at UNLV has begun, and this semester three talented graduate assistants joined the staff to begin their assignment−helping with The Lincy Institute’s mission of conducting and supporting research focusing on Nevada’s health care, education, and social services.
To gain an understanding of the myriad ways in which UNLV is already ingrained in community efforts, the graduate assistants are working diligently to research these connections, beginning within the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Education and the Division of Health Sciences.
The students have a unique opportunity to gain insights into the community and their respective colleges, says Rob Lang, interim executive director of The Lincy Institute.
“This assistantship gives them experience in research methods and an opportunity to network in their field of study,” says Lang. “When their project is complete, they will be some of the most knowledgeable people about this region and the connections between nonprofits and the university.”
“Our biggest project is compiling a report of the collaboration with nonprofits in our respective areas,” says Abby Hasberry, a doctoral student in curriculum and instruction. For her, this area is the collaboration between the College of Education and area nonprofits.
The graduate assistants are interviewing the deans of each of their colleges to ask questions about the work of the faculty. Jenny Pharr, a doctoral student in public health, focuses on the health sciences.
“I’ve interviewed the deans of community health, nursing, and allied health,” she says. Next she’ll talk to the faculty in those areas to learn about the community partnerships already in existence−either through funded research initiatives, board memberships, or volunteer activities.
Hasberry is taking a similar approach with the faculty in the College of Education. She’s also learning about the history of education in Nevada and gaining an understanding of the key players. As a student new to Nevada, she’s getting an inside look at the nuances of Nevada’s education system.
“It’s definitely giving me a lot of experience as a researcher,” says Hasberry, which will help her in her own dissertation focusing on cultural studies in education.
Though their research is just beginning, the students are finding that UNLV is embedded in the community.
“There’s a great deal of work being done in nonprofits,” says Hasberry.
Getting all of this information together will help The Lincy Institute see where the needs are, says Adla Earl, a master’s student in American history. “It will provide an overall picture of the key issues,” she says. “We know there’s a lot of need in nonprofits, especially in this economy.”
The report, which will be completed at the end of the spring semester, will help The Lincy Institute begin its strategic planning, says Lang. Having this data will allow the new program directors to hit the ground running and begin working in the areas identified as those with immediate problems or opportunities for the most impact.