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Compact Scholar Earns Outstanding Research Award



Annalia at conference

  Photo courtesy of Michelle Lopez           


By Jaclyn D. Hugg


The Compact Scholars Program congratulates junior, Psychology major, Annalia Valdivia, on her Outstanding Research Award in the Social and Behavioral Sciences/Public Health Poster session. Valdivia received this award – her first, at a national conference – at the 2012 Annual Biomedical Research Support (ABRCMS) Conference, November 7-10, 2012, in San Jose, CA.


At the conference, Valdivia presented her findings of a project titled, "Is Weight Cycling Detrimental of Psychological Health in Mexican American Women?"


…we (she and her faculty mentors, Dr. Linda Gallo and Dr. Patricia Gonzalez) wanted to see if there was a relationship between weight cycling (losing and gaining weight) and psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, anger, and chronic life stress,” said Valdivia.


Valdivia just recently applied and was accepted to MBRS – Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) in July 2012 – a program which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). She decided to pursue undergraduate research after attending a workshop hosted by the Compact Scholars Program during spring 2012 in which students were introduced to various programs such as MBRS, McNair, and MARC.


“After that event, I took the initiative to talk to the program directors one-on-one and received advice on how to get started with research. I wanted to get involved (in research) because it’s something I have always been fascinated with,” said Valdivia.


As Valdivia looks ahead, she is planning to participate in SDSU’s Student Research Symposium, as well as apply to summer research programs. She encourages her peers to seriously consider participating in undergraduate research.


“I would highly recommend other Compact Scholars to get involved as soon as they can. There are so many benefits to doing research such as working with professors, having the opportunity to network, and preparing yourself for graduate school. For me, the MBRS program has supported the research I do in countless ways and has given me the guidance to reach my goals,” she said.