Crystal Najib

Major(s): Biology & Psychology

Portrait of Crystal

Title: Learning from StoryCorps: The Resilience and Empowerment of Afghan Immigrant Women

Describe your project: The aim of my research is to explore the stories of Afghan immigrant women to the US, in order to better understand their challenges, struggles, risks, fears, and how they have overcome them. I will be mainly focusing on the resilience and empowerment of Afghan immigrant women who have fled a war-torn country in the search for a better life, through the use of recorded interviews provided by the StoryCorps archive.

Who is your mentor for your project? My mentor is Dr. Anne E. Brodsky, from the Psychology department. I found her by searching the research faculty on the UMBC website. I chose her because I am interested in this type of research.

How did you become interested in this project? I became interested in this project because I am an Afghan Immigrant and being able to learn about the resilience and empowerment of Afghan women who have fled a war-torn country facing many struggles and challenges looking for a better life.

What has been the hardest part of your research/what was the most unexpected thing about being a researcher? Since my research has just begun, I have not yet had many challenges but an unexpected thing about research for me was the importance of literature review prior to beginning any type of research.

What has been the most rewarding part? Being able to be a part of the great team my mentor has working together and learning from both my mentor and the graduate and other undergraduate members of her team.

How will you disseminate your research? I intend to present my research at URCAD in April, and I am also doing my undergraduate honors thesis on this topic.

What is your advice to other students about getting involved in research? There is always a way to get involved in research that interests you.

What are your career goals? I would like to go to medical school after earning my Bachelor’s degree.


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