Alissa Jeffrey was one of two Creighton students to present the results of a research study at the American Anthropological Association Conference in Seattle held in November 2022. The study sought to understand the stressors and the supports that characterized Creighton University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Alissa joined with several other undergraduates last year to conduct research into Creighton University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020-2021 academic year. Led by faculty members in anthropology, social work, neuroscience and health administration policy, the study questioned Creighton students about their experience of isolation or quarantine and marshaled data that led to a presentation at the American Anthropological Association Conference in Seattle.
We put some questions to Alissa:
Q. Where are you from? What is your major?
A. Lakewood, California. I am majoring in medical anthropology with minors in biology and public health.
Q. What kind of research have you done?
A. We researched students at Creighton who had experienced isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Q. Why was this research important to you?
A. It was an opportunity to work with students and faculty from several other disciplines to gather student input concerning Creighton’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to identify what the stressors and supports were, and to provide some understanding that might help shape policy the next time something like this happens.
Q. What’s the importance of this research?
A. Our unique research team, drawn from anthropology, social work, neuroscience and health and administration policy, allowed us to make connections that couldn’t be made from one field alone. I loved analyzing our data and finding similarities and themes, as I personally related to the students’ experiences. It allowed me to pull deeper meaning from our data that might not have been empirically significant but was meaningful and validating to me.
Q. What are your plans after graduating? How is this research helping you reach your goals?
A. I hope to attend medical school. This research project helped me understand a broader viewpoint of what health is and how sickness or the threat of sickness impacts our lives. I plan to use this experience to continue my understanding of health and medicine.
Q. Would you recommend research to incoming students?
A. Yes. Involvement in research opens many doors. This particular project allowed me to attend the American Anthropological Association Conference in Seattle both as an attendee and a presenter. It was very inspiring. I was captivated by the variety of projects at the conference, and I loved being able to meet fellow students and professional anthropologists.