Thursday, June 20, 2013

SRAP Student Spotlight: Kaycee and Bilingual Decision Making

SRAPer: Kaycee Perez

Home State: Wyoming

Year in School: Freshman in college

Future plans: Attend the University of Wyoming to study Physical Therapy

Seeing the different types of science is one of Kaycee Perez’s favorite parts of the STEM fields. As a second year SRAPer, Kaycee has experience d differences in science fields as she has worked in both pharmaceutical research and now in psychology. While last year she was studying diabetes, this year she is focused on language.
“My project is focusing on if being bilingual has an effect on whether when you’re a juror, that affects your verdict,” says Kaycee. “I think the most interesting part is just seeing if being bilingual actually does have an impact on your decision making,” says Kaycee.
The idea for Kaycee’s project came from her mentor, graduate student Victoria Estrada, who had extra data from her thesis. 
“When I presented it to Kaycee, she was on board with it”, says Victoria. “She was like ‘Oh, this could be interesting’.”
Victoria and Kaycee will also be branching out to other participants to get more up to date data.
"We are going to try to run an extension project using online participants and look at whether people are more willing to help either monolingual English or monolingual Spanish speakers; we are looking to see if people are biased against monolingual Spanish speakers,” says Victoria.
 This project is vastly different than the one that Kaycee worked on last year, and she is enjoying the change of focus.
“I’m most looking forward to being with a different department. Last year I was with pharmacy and psychology is a lot different than that,” says Kaycee.
At the end of the program, Kaycee will get the opportunity to see all of the different projects her fellow SRAPers have been working on. SRAP students are placed in many different departments, including molecular biology, botany, chemical engineering, geography, electrical and computer engineering and more.  Each student will have the opportunity to present their research and findings during a formal presentation on July 19th.
SRAP is a six-week intensive research program for high school students. It is based at the University of Wyoming and sponsored by Wyoming EPSCoR.

By Robin E. Rasmussen and Kali S. McCrackin
Photo by Robin E. Rasmussen

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