The Ohio State University at Marion


Psych major earns summer fellowship

May 9, 2018
Psych major earns summer fellowship

Ohio State Marion junior psychology major Nathan Baker of Mount Gilead, Ohio will spend his summer at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI). Unlike the thousands of patrons that walk through the doors of this Columbus science education stalwart each day to learn about science, Baker will be going to create science.

Baker recently received a $4,000 fellowship from the Office of Undergraduate Research to conduct language research at COSI from May 21 through the end of July 2018. Baker will be stationed in the Language Sciences Research Lab run by The Ohio State University several times per week. According to his faculty mentor, Ohio State Marion Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Nikole Patson, Baker will be watching people interact with hands on demonstrations of language phenomena, interviewing them afterwards and recording their responses.

According to Patson, The work she does in language study is a nice fit with what he wants to do as a career. The goal of the research, Patson shared, will be to understand how language science might impact people’s attitudes towards science. To begin to assess what visitors to COSI are learning in the Language Lab. This ties to the overall research and outreach goals of the Language Lab.

Knowing Baker’s goal to one day work in the field of industrial organizational psychology, she felt would be a direct benefit to his future career because the research project is also interested in how people interact with technology.

“Our hope is that he’ll be able to springboard this into a senior thesis project, said Patson. “He will learn skills on how to interview people, assess learning and attitudes.”

“He is an exceptional student inside and outside the classroom,” she added. “He has worked on independent research with me and presented at Denman this year.”

All of these experiences have led to a wealth of knowledge that he will be able to call upon during grad school and in his career, Patson went on to share.

Baker is working with both Dr. Patson and Associate Professor of Psychology, Laura Wagener from Columbus campus. Wagoner is director of the language lab.

According to Baker, he plans to attend grad school and ultimately earn a Ph.D. He hopes to parlay his research experience and education into a career in industrial/organizational psychology.

“The research project is largely going to be about studying how people become interested in language science and what things engage them in that,” Baker explained.

“I want to study how people become engaged and motivated as a team. I think there is a tie in there with how people become interested and motivated to learn more about scientific fields,” he said

“I think it’s really great that Ohio State awards these funds. Normally this would be unfunded. This allows people to do work in their field of study without crippling them financially,” Baker shared.

Baker gives a great deal of credit to Dr. Patson for not only his success as an undergrad, but for the opportunity to conduct real research at COSI.

“She (Dr. Patson) is amazing at finding students and connecting them with opportunities, he said. “She took an interest in my education. She is great at reaching out to students and helping them make a connection to research and scholarship. This is the main reason why I’ve been able to take advantage of research opportunities on this campus, as well as the fellowship.”