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  • Jerica Knox practices her research interviewing skills.

Jerica Knox's Magellan Story

Jerica Knox

Name: Jerica Knox
Hometown: Georgetown, SC
Major: Experimental Psychology
Magellan Program: Magellan Guarantee (2014 and 2015)
Magellan Projects: "Judgments and Reasoning About Bullying of Youth with Disabilities: The Role of Peer and Family Contexts"; "Young Children's Attitudes Towards Science and Math Careers"
Magellan Mentor: Dr. Kelly Lynn Mulvey, College of Education

Jerica Knox  grew up with a dream: she wanted to be a young adult author. "My goal was to share stories that would help children and young adults reach their full potential by inspiring them to make goals and obtain them," she said.

She came to the University of South Carolina as a psychology major and that dream began to refine itself. She still wanted to help kids, but her interest in their educational, social and emotional development brought her to the school psychology profession. She says her research experience with Educational Studies professor Kelly Lynn Mulvey played a big part in this path. "Working with Dr. Mulvey is a wonderful experience," Jerica said. "Her projects are very interesting, and she is a great teacher."

Jerica found Dr. Mulvey with a little help from our office: "I actually found her through the undergraduate research listserv, so I recommend everyone to sign up for it!" she says. Her first project under Dr. Mulvey was a study of the attitudes of young children towards STEM careers. Jerica said it was fascinating to learn firsthand about the population she wanted to work with in the future. "What I remember most about this project is the answers the children gave me during the interviews," she said. "It was very interesting to hear their opinions about ethnic minorities and women pursuing counter-stereotypical careers. From this project, I learned that younger children are, surprisingly, more rigid in their gender stereotypes than older children."

She went on to work on a second project with Dr. Mulvey, this time involving a study of bullying behavior towards children with disabilities. For both projects, Jerica was awarded the Magellan Guarantee grant. This program provides up to $1500 salary for students in the Opportunity Scholars or TRiO McNair program that are working on a research project with a faculty or professional staff member. Jerica said she first heard about Magellan Guarantee when she attended the USC Study Abroad MOSAIC Symposium. "Regardless of funding, I wanted to participate in undergraduate research," she said. "However, funding has allowed me to spend more time on research, so I am extremely appreciative of the Magellan Guarantee program."

The veteran researcher has become an expert at giving presentations. "Presenting at Discovery Day last year was my first experience sharing my research," she said. "After that, I was able to present at the McNair Symposium this past summer on campus and the SAEOPP Conference in Atlanta, GA where I won first place in the social sciences category. Next month, I will be going to Baton Rouge, LA for the NAAAS Conference."

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