Research Spotlight: Victoria Collins

Class of 2019, Majoring in Anthropology and Psychological & Brain Sciences

In honor of National Undergraduate Research Week, the Office of Undergraduate Research is excited to feature a series of unique research experiences from just a few of our many WashU undergraduates engaged in research. 

Victoria Collins

Graduation Year: 2019

Majors: Anthropology and Psychological & Brain Sciences

Research Funding: WashU Summer Undergraduate Research Award (SURA)

"When I spoke with Dr. Parikh about my interest in her research, she was enthusiastic and invited me to join her team in Uganda the following summer. We discussed my interests at length, and she encouraged me to develop muy own research question."

What type of research did you pursue with your funding? 

I spent the summer after my sophomore year interviewing midwives, mothers, and traditional birth attendants in Iganga, Uganda. With the guidance of a local research team, I examined how women make decisions about where to seek care, what barriers they face in accessing health care, and where gaps in understanding exist between biomedical professionals and the communities they serve. 

Have there been specific people here at WashU that gave you significant support and/or helped propel your interest in research?

The opportunity to do research in college has equipped me with a set of skills that I can apply in any field after college. After returning from Uganda, I learned of a non-profit architecture firm in Boston that was creating innovative solutions to health care problems. Although I had no background in architecture, the research skills and maternal health background I gained at WashU allowed me to take on a summer position as a research intern. I spent the summer conducting project impact analysis and proposing design solutions for problems in behavioral health care.