Tian Harrison feels that her research experience has better prepared her to meet the challenges of her future career. Between the new skills, expanded knowledge and growing relationships, her research has made her undergraduate education both richer and deeper. Tian considers an inquisitive mind to be an extremely important element of her success, one that has helped her persevere throughout the many challenges of her research career.

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?

My area of research interest has always been the physical and physiological wellness of the Asian population here in the States. I'm currently working under Dr. Joanne Zinger in the Expressive Writing lab, researching the benefits of expressive writing within the Asian population.

2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

Before transferring to UCI, I was honored to serve as the Historian and Publicist for Irvine Valley Collegeís Psi Beta (Honor Society for Psychology students in community colleges). During my time at Psi Beta, Iíve learned the essential foundational skills of research within the psychology field. By exchanging past research experiences with my teammates in Psi Beta combined with knowledge that I have learned with from the classroom, I was able to present my study on the dangers of self-imposed isolation of Chinese immigrants within California at the Honors Transfer Council of California (HTCC) yearly conference before I transferred to UCI.

3. How has research enhanced your education?

Rather than learning from the classroom in a passive learning setting, research is the definition of active learning where the researchers is responsible for finding the information of his or her interest from reviewing past literature to collecting and analyzing data to uncover knowledge in an active approach.

4. What has been your favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?

My favorite experience with research does not only include academic experience, my favorite experiences are the valuable friendships that Iíve acquired with my lab mates, and most importantly, what I have learned about life in a broader perspective from my adviser Dr. Zinger. I am very fortunate to be working with such brilliant minds and to receive Dr. Zingerís guidance. Things fade away over time, but the relationships that Iíve built here at UCI will support me throughout my lifetime.

5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

After graduation, I will be working with a leading global human resource consulting firm. My research journey has prepared me to be always inquisitive and solve challenges by finding out the root cause of the problem. Research has taught me the value of an inquisitive mind, and I truly believe it will take me to the next level in my career while equipping me for the greater obstacles in life.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

Be daring and curious, but also respectful in your journey to pursue faculty-mentors. Be daring because you are the sole initiator for the things that you want in life; be curious for there are always new things to learn; be respectful for you can always learn something from anyone, keep an open mind and an open heart.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '15 Ka Hei (Eric) Chan
Nov. '15 Timna Medovoy
Oct. '15 Soraya Davia
Sep. '15 Amanda Nili
Aug. '15 Soo Song
Jul. '15 Tian Harrison
Jun. '15 Rommel Santos
May. '15 Mariyah Saiduddin
Apr. '15 Angel Rodriguez
Mar. '15 Sarah Tang
Feb. '15 Jay Tolentino
Jan. '15 Yuhao Ma