Student Finds Immersive Research Experience in Australia Co-​​op

• from Meisha Swaby

Ana Tar­betsky worked on graduate-​​level research in edu­ca­tional psy­chology ear­lier this year while on co-​​op in Aus­tralia. But the expe­ri­ence did more than advance her explo­ration of that field. It also con­tinued her global learning that began a year ear­lier on study abroad at the Uni­ver­sity of Sydney.

“My expe­ri­ence there felt unfin­ished,” Tar­betsky said. “That was the first time I was abroad by myself. It took me awhile to get estab­lished there, and then once I did, the expe­ri­ence was coming to an end. I feel like my co-​​op picked up where I left off.”

Tar­betsky, SSH’16, a senior soci­ology major who is expected to grad­uate in three-​​and-​​a-​​half years, started searching for a co-​​op in Sydney as soon as she returned to campus in fall 2013 fol­lowing her study abroad. She even­tu­ally con­nected with a pro­fessor at the Uni­ver­sity of New South Wales whose research inter­ests aligned with her own.

As a research assis­tant, Tar­betsky per­formed exten­sive lit­er­a­ture reviews, data col­lec­tion and analysis, and report writing. For her first task, she helped draft a book chapter on a the­o­ret­ical model for pre­dicting stu­dents’ moti­va­tion, engage­ment, and achieve­ment by exam­ining vari­ables such as adapt­ability, or how you respond in the face of new sit­u­a­tions; aca­d­emic buoy­ancy, or how you respond to everyday set­backs; and the role of three fac­tors: autonomy, com­pe­tence, and relatedness.