Student Perspective: Undergraduate Research

Smiling female student sitting at computer

NSU student’s undergraduate research project to be published in journal

 

Northern State University student Caitline Blinder, of Aberdeen, will have her undergraduate research project published in the fall 2021 edition of THEJUMP+, or The Journal of Undergraduate Multimedia Projects. Listen to it here this fall, THEJUMP+

Below, Blinder, an English major with a communications minor, discusses her project and the process of publishing research as an undergraduate student:

 

My project is a multimodal piece that focuses on introducing sonic rhetoric for students and teachers by using scholarly research and narrative to create a sonic story. I recreate challenges that students face in the classroom who are sensitive to sound along with recreating my own personal experiences to deepen the narrative. I wanted to recreate my experiences with sound for teachers and students to understand some challenges students face in relation to sound. I offer suggestions for teachers who can help accommodate their students who have sound sensitivities.

My project was inspired by Dr. Harley’s sound studies class. It was based on our final projects and I decided to do a sonic narrative for mine. Being encouraged to do so, I expanded on it and pursued to submit it to THEJUMP+. Although the story of its creation is cool, I did run into some challenges. I thought it had to be perfect. I think this is a feeling a lot of college students feel. I especially know this is true for any English majors. I admit that I was nervous making it along with the moment I finally submitted it. But afterwards, the nervous feeling went away. Just taking the risk was more relieving than anything else.

Wonderful Feedback

A few days later, I got an email from the lead editor telling me they would look it over and get back to me soon. It was exciting and I was a bit impatient to hear back from them. I waited for months for their response. When they did, they accepted it. The editors even gave me wonderful feedback to help make my project better.

Along with this, I loved making the project. It’s a multimedia project using sound and writing so it was fun taking clips of sound and writing out the script to integrate them together in my piece. Also, learning about how sounds affect us as people is fascinating. I was beginning to understand myself more while also helping students and teachers understand more about how sound can affect students in classrooms. I hope this project will help others be more empathetic to students with sound sensitives like myself.

'You Just Have to Try'

If students want to do similar work, or to get something published, my advice is to take the opportunities professors give you and to not be afraid if you think your work isn’t good enough. If professors offer you opportunities to publish with the help of their guidance, go for it. They really want to see you succeed and grow, so why not take the opportunities they present to help you?

Also, don’t be afraid if your project or work isn’t perfect. I think I would have submitted my project sooner if I wasn’t so worried about how perfect it had to be. Everyone has different perceptions, so you might be surprised if others like your work when you don’t think it’s good enough. You just have to try.

 

Learn more about conducting research projects as an undergraduate student at NSU Undergraduate Research.