Week 7 – There’s No Place Like Home


Mansfield Foundation Fellow in Social Psychology (In memory of Merlin "Pat" Dreibelbis '39)

Ft. Hays State University | Hays, Kansas

July 31, 2017

This past week was my last week in Hays, so now I’m back in Chicago. The drive back wasn’t as long as I remember it being, but I feel like that’s always the case. I ended up staying in Mt. Vernon for a night, which was fun because I saw some of my friends and I got to go try the new BBQ restaurant. Overall, it feels good to be back home with my family again.

I  finally got to meet the giant puppet that used to haunt my walks through Mt. Vernon.

It feels like the time went by pretty fast in Hays, but I enjoyed every moment of it.  It was a lot of work, but the experience was worth it. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting when I first arrived in Hays, but I’m happy it wasn’t because it ended up being even better. I know I’ve probably written this in my last three posts, but I’ still so happy that I was given the chance to design my own study.

I had a great time working with Dr. Hill, Dr. Jeter, and Dr. Bonds-Raacke. Working with three different mentors was beneficial because I received different points of views and a lot of input on the design. It definitely taught me the importance of communication as well. Not only did they help me design a study based on my interest, they also gave me advice on how to prepare for grad school and the GRE. The most important thing to me is that I made three new friends who I look forward to keeping in touch with.

Dr. Hill and I on my last day of research

I may no longer be in Hays, but there’s still have work that I need to do. I still have to write up surveys as well as upload the study to Mechanical Turk™. In addition, I get to create three fake Facebook profiles. Dr. Hill told me that it’s possible to collect all that data that we need in one day. So, my next step is to continue writing the introduction and procedure sections of the paper. I’m hoping that since we are only trying to gather data from 200 participants that it won’t take too long to analyze the data once it’s in.

Dr. Jeter and I posing in front of the Psychology department building.

This summer has been amazing, and I’m so grateful I was given this opportunity. Even though I still have work to do, I’m still going to make sure that I relax and enjoy the remainder of my summer. I still have to prepare for the GRE, which I’ll be taking in a few months. I also plan on going to Seatle with my sister sometime in August. So, I have a lot planned and still some work to do, but I think my next order of business is to take a two-day nap. Farewell Kansas and farewell to everyone reading.

Nealy professional headshot

Aaron Nealy '17

Aaron Nealy is a psychology major from Chicago, Illinois.