This month’s member spotlight is focused on Leah Krauskopf from the University of Delaware. Leah has a major in Human Services with a concentration in Clinical Services and a minor in Dance and anticipates graduating in the year of 2022. At the 2021 Kappa Omicron Nu Conclave, Leah presented her research regarding the relationship between discrimination and cognition among older adults using the Health and Retirement Study. We followed up with Leah to inquire about her experience at the 2021 Kappa Omicron Nu Conclave and her reviews were of great delight. The topic of discrimination and cognition among older adults was enticed by Leah’s coursework in which she completed a class entitled “Adult Development and Aging,” from this came her interest in gerontology. Prior to both this class and her research she stated that she had not yet been able to narrow down the population or cohort that she would like to work with, but this gave her helpful insight to working in the field of gerontology. Her research initially started as her curiosity surrounding stress and the effects of aging, and then was later narrowed down to cognitive ability in relation to discrimination.
This research and presentation came from the collaboration of both Leah and Dr. Heather Farmer, as Leah had previously completed a summer apprenticeship with Dr. Farmer, which then continued on to lead to this specific research topic. From both her knowledge and skills gained from both her coursework and this apprenticeship Leah was able to encompass all aspects of both into her research, allowing all of her work to come full circle. Leah hopes to one day become a full-time counselor and accredits this research and presentation experience as an experience that has helped her work towards those goals. Leah reflected on her experience at the 2021 Kappa Omicron Nu Conclave by admiring the experience as well as the audience. Although the presentations and audience were all conducted online via Zoom, the same levels of respect and engagement was achieved. Leah states that this experience, “was a privilege to hear her fellow presenters talk about their research and connect with people from all over the country.” Despite not being able to hold the conference in person, the interactions and overall professionalism seemed to be valued just as highly as it would have been in person, according to Leah. She reported that this experience and research helped her both professionally with both her future career goals as well as with her coursework and personal interests. In regard to future research, Leah hopes to expand further on the topic of discrimination and cognition and dive into conditions such as traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and family and community relationships. She also hopes to look into the effects of environment, resource accessibility, sleep, diet and everyday stress exposure on cognition. Mental health is something Leah is quite passionate about and is something she expressed a deep interest in, especially in regard to aging. If you wish to see the research presented by Leah Krauskopf on this fascinating topic the link will be provided. We at Kappa Omicron Nu are very proud of the accomplishments and work our members achieve and Leah is a prime example of that! Congratulations Leah on both your presentation and research and all future endeavors you set for yourself.
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