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Anna Kotula

Class of 2023

Anna Kotula presented at the annual meeting of the nation’s largest anthropology association during a trip to Seattle.

While at Creighton, Anna’s research involved investigating the experiences of Creighton students who experience COVID-19 isolation or quarantine during the 2020-2021 academic year.

We asked her some questions about the research and the benefits to undergraduate students of Creighton’s wide-ranging undergraduate research offerings.

Q. Where are you from and what did you major in?

A. Omaha, Nebraska. I majored in biology and medical anthropology with a minor in global health.

Q. What kind of research did you do?

A. Our team researched a project titled, “Learning from Times of Restriction: College Student Experiences of Stressors and Supports in COVID Quarantine/Isolation.” We targeted Creighton University undergraduate students who directly experienced quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 protocols during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Q. Why was this research important to you? 

A. It was an opportunity to work under the mentorship of Dr. Alexander Roedlach in the Department of Cultural and Social Studies, and Dr. Laura Heinemann, director of the medical anthropology undergraduate program, to really identify the concerns that arose among students at the height of COVID-19.

Research is its own reward, but sometimes, as with me in this case, the reward is even greater.
— Anna Kotula

Q. What’s the importance of your research? 

A. We had a very broad research team, drawn from health and administration, anthropology, social work and neuroscience. It really demonstrated the value of professionals from different disciplines working towards a common goal. I think we made some important findings about the stressors, and the supports, that students experienced. 

Q. Would you recommend research to incoming students?  

A. Definitely. Research is its own reward, but sometimes, as with me in this case, the reward is even greater. In November 2022 I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, presenting our research. I highly valued the networking opportunities, listening to other presentations, and engaging with other students from various universities. Also, I experienced many cultural and educational opportunities in Seattle. Museums, the Seattle Symphony, different restaurants. I am forever thankful for this opportunity with my classmates and professors.  

Q. Now that you graduated, what are your plans? 

A. I plan to attend medical school. 

Anna Kotula presenting her research.
Anna Kotula explaining her research poster to a participant.