The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Stephanie Ahn

Human Biology

Stephanie’s undergraduate research topic is Exploring Undergraduate Students’ Awareness of Cardiac Health.

“My experience doing research as a UT undergraduate created a tight-knit community from a very large population of UT students.”

Faculty Supervisor: Dr. K. Sata Sathasivan, Biology

Briefly describe your research project.

My organization, ICARE-UT, is dedicated to improving the awareness of cardiac health and disease at UT. Thus, my team members and I are doing a survey-based study to explore the factors that might affect a student’s awareness of cardiac health and related topics. We are also studying what makes a successful awareness campaign directed towards college students.

What has been the most rewarding part of your research experience (so far)?

I was able to apply what I learned in most of my courses at UT to real experiments. I also think the reason why I was able to learn so much was because on each project I worked, I had supportive mentors who created a research environment that allowed me to think critically, ask tons of questions, and work independently.

How has participating in research affected your undergraduate experience at UT?

Participating in research at UT has opened my eyes to a world outside of the undergraduate experience. I now feel properly introduced to the scientific community and the opportunities that lie there, in addition to its impact on the world around us.

What surprised you during the research process?

Surprisingly, my experience doing research as a UT undergraduate created a tight-knit community from a very large population of UT students. Undergraduate research has allowed me to build strong relationships with my mentors, from whom I continue to seek both professional and academic advice. In addition, I have also met and befriended many other undergrads who share similar interests with me.

Do you think having been involved in research as an undergraduate will be helpful to you in the future? If so, how?

Definitely. Doing research has definitely shaped me into the person I am today. It has given me a greater appreciation for science and learning and has opened my eyes to the kind of teamwork and elbow-grease that goes into discoveries. Besides changing the way I approach problems and the way I think, I now know that I want to do research as a physician in whatever specialty of medicine I find