What to do, what to do…

Here we are, last semester of my college career and I am feeling a bit lost. I have so many ideas, hopes, and dreams, but execution of them seems a bit tricky. I know what I like, I know what I have learned, and I know the demographics I want to work with, BUT I am unsure of how to put it all together to complete a project in under 14 weeks that encompasses it all! Listed are ideas for a research article and an applied project. I believe the research article will be less challenging than the applied project because let’s face it, designing and implementing guidelines for my own project is scary; the movie It scary.


Research Article options:

  • Sex education– I would find it extremely interesting and worthwhile to do a report on the history of sex education and the future it. I think there is such a negative and/or embarrassing stigmatism around sex education that should not be there. When should it be first introduced? What does it all mean? Should boys and girls receive the same talks? Abstinence only or emphasis on safe sex- what does the research show is more effective? This would combine my health education, health promotion, biomedical sciences, as well as some social work aspects.
  • Healthcare-maternal care for women in prison– This topic was just brought to my attention by an article I saw on twitter. Very rarely do we think about what happens to pregnant women in prison. What are their rights? What are the child’s rights? How are they cared for? What are facilities like? What resources are available for pregnant women in prison? This would certainly cover the disciplines of social work, health, and nursing.
  • Family planning when natural conception is difficult or not an option- I would love to research more about family planning in terms of the science behind conceiving through IVF and such methods that involve injections, extractions, and artificial insemination. As well as the processes for families to be able to go about conceiving children that way. Cost? Availability? How families feel about it…All these would combine nursing, social work, and the biomedical sciences.
  • Reproductive rights-I believe it would be interesting to research the full history of reproductive rights and the meaning behind them. I would include information about the different times of family planning, reproductive methods, and why people are for or against such rights. This would cover health education and social work.
  • Therapy for babies born to drug dependent mothers– This is a largely discussed topic as the drug epidemic has skyrocketed in New Hampshire. Children born to drug dependent mother’s have experienced levels of drug toxicity they are barely able to withstand. Once born they are addicted and go through withdrawals. I would like to look at consequences of mother’s being pregnant while using drugs-long term effects on the child, treatment options for infants going through withdrawals, and how the mother is treated. This would combine nursing, social work, and health promotion.


Applied Project ideas:

  • Volunteer at multiple women’s health facilities in the lakes region to expand my hands on experience and knowledge on matters such as abuse, drug addictions, sexual assault, parenting struggles, and pre-post natal support. This would be great to get a greater sense of community as well as build a portfolio of resources available for future jobs. This might be difficult for me as I work full time and go to school full time. Scheduling time to do so would not be impossible, but it would take a great effort as well as being able to be accepted as a volunteer at the agencies.
  • Shadow in school health classes to learn about health promotion at the middle-high school level. I would work to create learning materials for students to better understand the lessons as well as projects to apply their learning. This might be difficult as I do not have a background in teaching or lesson plans. I would not be asking to teach or create lesson plans, but possibly be involved in the student’s learning. I would also have to find a school whiling to let me do this.
  • Attend parenting classes, maternity or birthing classes, and any other information sessions about family planning. This would allow me to be apart of what I would like to one day perform. From these experiences I would create a blog about experiences as well as take-aways from the classes for other people to use as resources. This might be difficult getting into the classes or finding times that work for my busy schedule.
  • Create a lifestyle-education blog for parents. This resource could become an online community for mothers of all ages to gain resources for assistance in all things motherhood. I would keep a personal blog to allow followers to feel they can relate to my story. But also have sections on where to go for financial assistance or parenting assistance. I would have a section on self-help and nutrition for the whole family. I would share evidence based practice parenting help and best practices for children in the areas of nutrition, exercises and medicine.
  • Become a member of health education, health advocacy organizations. I would become a member of at least three organizations and compile resources, webinars, and information about the fields I am interested in. This would be a challenge because of costs, but it would allow me to build a portfolio of recourses for sharing on my professional social media and a possible website. This would give me access to webinars and conferences which I could attend an write articles based off.


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  1. Kate Burgess

    Madison – really awesome spread of ideas here. The one that stuck out to me most was your thought about maternal healthcare for women in prisons. You should check out this documentary about a program that is in (Illinois? Ohio? I forget) that supports mothers who have babies in prison. I wish you the best of luck with your research!

  2. Oh my god! Where can I start! I loooooove your topics, I want you to do them all! I mean these would all make great research articles. My favorite is the healthcare maternal care for women in prison. Go all orange is the new black on this paper! Just kidding, but that , personally, would be something I would be most interested in. My second is the history of sex Ed. That’s gotta catch some attention!! We were all there in high school and middle school, not wanting to talk to our male counterparts after hearing what went on to make a baby. Not to mention the diseases that can be contracted! Either way, you’ve got some really exciting ideas and I look forward to reading about any of them!

  3. I love your RA ideas so much, there are honestly one or two I would be happy to write myself. The Reproductive Rights one is probably a paper that has been written thousands of times before, so if you want to write it again, make sure it’s super current in order to make the endeavor worthwhile. But all the rest seem really timely and I think you could do great original research in all of those areas.

    Your AP’s also get me so psyched, and wishing I were a student again. I used to send students to the Concord Feminist Health Center (now Called the Equality Health Center) and they would allow them to shadow and to sit in on abortions if the patients were ok with it. It was very powerful. I did it myself one day, and it was life-changing for me. Would you like me to look into that for you? But in general, all of these are exciting and I can’t wait to see which direction you choose!

  4. Madison,
    Your research article topics are so interesting and have the potential to be so enlightening! As an aunt of two 12-year-olds, I am in shock when I hear what they are learning in health class now, that I didn’t even know at 21-years of age! I really think the research article dealing with the history and future of sex education would be extremely interesting since it really is an evolving field. Along with this research topic, the applied project of shadowing in a health class in the middle-high school age would be so interesting! I don’t think you could go wrong with any of your topics! Best of luck!

  5. Louisa Noble

    Madison – SUPER cool ideas! This list had me interested in researching all these topics and my major is pretty far off from this! So for your RAs, (you’ve probably picked one out by now) but another opinion won’t hurt – I think your topics on reproductive rights and healthcare-maternal care for mothers in prison would be really powerful pieces to cover. I think they would both have solid data backing them for you to write a research article on.

    As for your project, I think any and all would work. Volunteering at different women’s health facilities would be interesting as it would give you a wealth of observation time and information to take with you after graduation. You mentioned it being hard to schedule in, but with anything you choose it’s going to take time away out of your weeks so you might as well choose something BIG and embrace it!

    Good luck with your research and project! Have fun with them! 🙂

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