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India Miller Advances Research Skills as a Davis Family Summer Scholar

India Miller

As she was completing sophomore year last spring, India Miller was notified of her acceptance as FCN's 2022 Davis Family Summer Scholar by Professor Elizabeth Dowdell, PhD, RN, AFN-C, FAAN, coordinator of Undergraduate Research to pursue her project “Parents’ Influence on Adolescents’ Relationship With Food: A Systematic Review of the Literature”  with Associate Professor Tracy Oliver, PhD, RDN, LDN.

Now a junior, India reflects on her experience in a recent interview. 

1. The title of your study is: “Parents’ Influence on Adolescents’ Relationship With Food: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” How did you arrive at the subject? Why does it matter to you?

I have always been interested in nutrition, and taking the course sophomore year made me even more intrigued! I hope to be a pediatric nurse in the future, which is why I wanted my research to relate to adolescents or children. I wanted to do research on this specific topic because I feel as though the effects parents can have on their children is often overlooked.

2. What findings stand out to you and why?

A finding that stands out to me is that more strict parenting styles result in adolescents with higher BMI percentiles and increased consumption of unhealthy foods. Although parents are trying to encourage adolescents to have healthy habits, the outcomes can be detrimental to their health, both physically and mentally.

3. How did you and the faculty work together on this study?

My faculty mentor for this research was Dr. Tracy Oliver. As the lead author, I performed the research on my own and if I ever had any questions or needed some guidance Dr. Oliver was there to help! We also schedule weekly meetings to talk about my progress and set goals, which is very beneficial to me.

4. It looks like you’ll be presenting at Villanova's student research event this fall. Any other plans to disseminate findings?

The findings from this study will be presented as a poster at the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Research Symposium and the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Scholar’s Day, part of Villanova’s Expo. I am also submitting an abstract to the Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS) to attend the 2023 conference in Philadelphia, PA.

5. Why did you pursue research? Any further related activities coming?

I pursued research because I have a curious mind. I am often driven to know “why and how.” After learning more about research in my Nursing Research class, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.

6. Any advice for a student who’s thinking of becoming a Davis scholar and/or pursuing research in general?

The biggest piece of advice I could give to a student thinking of pursuing research is to not be afraid to reach out to your professors. Dr. Oliver was my Nutrition professor sophomore year, and she shared research experience on the first day of class. I was fascinated and ended up reaching out to her to learn about how I could get involved. Now, I am completing my own research and will be a published author. Even if you are the slightest bit interested, reach out to someone who can give you more information and insight!