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Marlene completes and disseminates on honors capstone project

Marlene Presenting her Capstone Project at the AHS Research Day

Marlene completed her honors capstone project, a research project that was nested within the first aim of our PROSPECT project, and presented on her findings at the Applied Health Sciences (AHS) Research Day! Since joining CPERL as an undergraduate research assistant in Fall 2021, Marlene built the foundation to design and conduct her honors capstone project. For her project, she successfully prepared, rated, and analyzed data on service plans from a CPERL community partner, Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS), to characterize and understand the extent to which they focused on improving a young child's participation or its related concepts. She has shown great rigor throughout the preparation and analysis of the narrative data from RMHS and successfully transitions from CPERL with new knowledge, skills, and perspective.

Marlene Shares: When I first joined CPERL, I was excited to be a part of a team where I could create meaningful work and learn from other lab members. To build readiness to undertake my capstone project, I completed a self-study that gave me the knowledge and skills needed to begin a project of my own, that related to work currently being done in the lab. Pursuing this capstone allowed me to further my understanding on what early intervention services look like today. I thank Mary for being an incredible mentor to me, as I worked on my first big project during my time at UIC. Mary has always encouraged me to keep digging deeper into my interests, which kept my curiosity growing. I also thank the entire CPERL team, for their feedback and tips during lab meetings, and my two co-mentors, Sabrin and Vera, for guiding me through any problems or questions I ran into during my capstone analysis and interpretation. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have learned under everyone in CPERL and am excited to wrap up my honors undergraduate program with a major in Kinesiology.

Mary Shares: We thank Marlene for joining the CPERL team a year ago, while we were hard at work to complete the PROSPECT project focused on YC-PEM implementation in early intervention. Marlene came aboard with genuine curiosity about how these services were typically structured with respect to the extent to which they focused on improving a young child's participation in valued activities. Marlene designed her honors capstone project that leveraged newly collected data on early intervention service plans. She was the first in our lab to work with these data over the Summer season and through a busy Fall. Vera and Sabrin mentored her in how to design a systematic process for coding those service plans, inspired by an approach developed by a CPERL team member who once was an honors undergraduate herself. Marlene discovered some important patterns in these data and has set up Sabrin and Vera to further analyze these data for an upcoming publication, for which Marlene has earned formal acknowledgement for her contributions. We wish her all the best as she finishes up her program of study at UIC and pursues a professional path of her own design.