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Student Reflection: Q&A With Horane Holgate

Through a Smith Institute grant that Dr. Ruth Green received to mentor students in conducting research,  Horane Holgate received funding to present his work at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s Convention and Annual Meeting in Nashville and won one of three student regional awards at the conference.

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Horane Holgate, JCSU alumnus and Smith Institute researcher, demonstrates Robotics to a CMS student during Mayfest 201

A 2014 graduate, Holgate has made the most of his time as an undergraduate student; he attended summer research programs at Davidson and Stanford University while earning his degree at Johnson C. Smith University. He has presented at two psychology and aging conferences, has won awards for track, and is a published author in a peer-reviewed journal.

Holgate is now preparing to take on his next milestone at Purdue University this fall, where he will be completing a PhD in educational psychology.

Can you provide us with a high-level description of the research you are conducting?

This project examines the relationship between family, school and community involvement. We are interested in looking at how these sectors can work together to improve achievement in schools in the Northwest Corridor. A major component of this research involves examining the relationship between the family and the school. We used the Harvard K-12 Parent Survey to gather data from parents based on key areas identified by researchers as important to parental involvement and education namely: parental support, child behavior, school climate, school program fit, parent roles and responsibilities, parent self – efficacy, parent engagement, and barriers. By gathering data on these areas we hope to develop interventions tailored to each school, to improve achievement in schools in the Northwest Corridor.

What are you hoping to get out of this experience?

From this experience I hope to sharpen my skills in research, learn new theories, models and methodologies which will increase my competency as a researcher, and make me more marketable as I move into my career as a researcher and professor.

What is something you have accomplished (thus far) that you are most proud of? Or something you look forward to working on?

In my academic career one accomplishment I am extremely proud of is obtaining a college degree. Attending college and obtaining a degree has allowed me to develop more confidence in my abilities to make meaningful contributions to society. The knowledge, and experience garnered throughout the four years has provided me with a number of opportunities and allowed me to develop overall as an individual and a member of society. Obtaining a college degree has provided the catalyst for pursuing my PhD in Educational Psychology so I am looking forward to achieving that milestone in the future.

How would you like to use your skills and talents to impact the world?

My goal is to become a professor and researcher in the field of Educational Psychology. I hope to conduct research which will help create better learning environments for students at all levels, bridge gaps in academic achievement, contribute to child and human development academically and socially as well provide models which will influence the development of policies and programs in education to benefit all students. Additionally, my goal is to assist students and families with problems relating to transition from one academic level or from one country to the next by providing them with the necessary tools and guidelines which will allow them to succeed as they progress.

Outside of your internship, what are some activities or hobbies you enjoy over the summer?

Besides working on research this summer, I spend my time going to the movies, playing football (soccer), and watching the FIFA World Cup.

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