Student Spotlight: Kristen Cummings
Year: Class of 2013 graduate
Favorite Part of Program: The diversity of the research interests of the faculty and the opportunities to get involved in research.
Capstone project: For her senior project, Kristen researched an idea that is highly relevant to her future career in higher education: Why do students get involved in campus activities and are those activities are actually fun and useful? Students join clubs and activities during their college years in order to receive particular benefits in their personal, social, and professional lives. The goal of Kristen’s study was to examine whether being involved in clubs and activities on campus helps students gain valuable skills and reach higher levels of success and satisfaction. In the study, students filled out an extensive survey about their involvement in campus activities, their success (in terms of grades and GPA), and their satisfaction with RIT and with the activities they chose. Based on earlier research, Kristen hypothesized that students who were highly involved would have higher success and be more satisfied with their college experience than students who were less involved. Although the trend was in the predicted direction, the results were not significant: Most students reported feeling fairly satisfied with RIT, while involvement varied widely. In general, students reported they did receive the skills and benefits they had sought from campus involvement, but often at lower levels than they had originally hoped.
Future career plans: Kristen will begin the Masters of Higher Education Administration program at the University of Arizona in August, 2013