Allison Nofziger

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Allison Nofziger

Allison Nofziger

Health disco academic program
Human Development and Family Sciences
healthy disco cohort year

Research Reflection

My name is Allie Nofziger, and I am a transfer junior majoring in human development and family sciences. I participated in the URSA Engage program and worked with a larger OSU run study called Interplay. This study goes by the longer title of Flame Retardants and Home Environment on Children’s School Readiness. Through URSA, I was able to explore my own research question and look specifically at the connection between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that fell under the umbrella of home environment data we were collecting and preschool children’s problem behaviors at home and school.

student assessing preschooler

This process has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in college thus far. I’ve connected with many new people, had wonderful mentorship and peers on my team, learned applicable skills, and been given the opportunity to present my research. Our team at the Cascades campus consisted of Shannon Lipscomb (my mentor and one of the primary investigators), Tiffany DeRuyter (our coordinator) and several other graduate and undergraduate researchers. Collectively, these people helped foster a welcoming environment and contributed to my learning and increased confidence through every step of this project. For my role in the larger Interplay study, I learned how to conduct assessments on human subjects, received trauma informed training and entered data.

Allie Nofziger and other students analyzing data

Contributing to the Interplay study was an incredibly rewarding experience, but that was only a piece of what I did in the URSA program. In preparation for the Spring Poster Symposium, I asked and explored my own research question that I could examine using data from the Interplay study. After deciding to take a deeper dive into the correlation between ACEs and problem behaviors in our preschool participants, I learned how to conduct a literature review.

research postering event

I sifted through many peer-reviewed articles to determine if there was already known work published about my topic and realized that there is a large gap in our understanding of problem behaviors in preschool children, especially as they pertain to bullying perpetration. Something that surprised me while creating my research poster was how much peer reviewing, feedback and revising goes into your final product. It was wonderful to have so many members of my team look over different drafts at different stages of the process, and I think it really helped polish and shape my finished version.

Allie Nofziger

In the fall, I plan on applying to Master of Social Work programs across the country.

Although the Interplay study has concluded after three years, I will be joining some of the researchers in Corvallis who are looking to further explore the data and present research findings at a later date. As I move forward in my career after graduating, I want to continue to explore behavioral health outcomes and the factors that influence them. This research experience has shaped how I see myself participating in the human services field. I still want to help underserved communities, but I now plan to do so with a focus on research.

Why did you choose the COH at OSU to pursue your studies?

My non-traditional educational path led me to OSU’s College of Health for several reasons.

Within the college, I was drawn to the extensive curriculum, addressing many areas of study to ensure you have a well-rounded foundation.

Through my HDFS major, I love the practicum and internship experiences that OSU requires. It allows students to explore their interests, figure out what careers are or are not a good fit, and gives you practical experience in your prospective career field.

This has helped me feel far more prepared and confident to join the workforce after graduation.

What sparked your interest in health?

I have always been interested in helping others, and I think that focusing on health can be a really effective way to make a difference in the lives of others.

Working to improve health outcomes and eradicate disparities in health services is critical to enhancing society.

I am especially interested in finding ways to increase equitable and accessible health care for underserved populations.

Having access to services for physical, mental and social health can increase a person’s overall well-being in deeply impactful ways.

Why are you interested in research?

I’m interested in research because of its practical approach to the theoretical concepts I learn about in class.

I enjoy being hands-on, working to address real questions and contribute to a growing body of social science research.

Research has allowed me to make connections, grow my skills and immerse myself in a project that I have genuine interest in.

I am able to ask questions and explore different methods to find answers, working with people who have shared passions and curiosities.

What research will you be working on and with whom?

I will be working with Shannon Lipscomb and her amazing team made up of undergraduate students, graduate students, coordinators and research professionals.

This research explores the effects of flame-retardant chemicals and home environments on a child’s behavioral and educational development.

While working on my URSA project, I have been gaining invaluable experience learning data entry, how to approach research through a trauma informed lens, and how to conduct assessments with children.

What are your future career and/or academic plans?

After graduating from OSU, I plan on working with under-resourced populations to prevent and treat mental health and substance use disorders.

Eventually I would like to obtain a Master of Public Health degree and a Master of Social Work degree with the long-term goal of working in global mental health.


The Healthy Discoveries undergraduate research program is made possible with the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning.