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Shauna Morin ’17 PHD: A Chance to Explore IDEALS

Shauna Morin ’17 PHD was attracted to the College of Education because of the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey.  After completing her Ph.D., she’ll stay on as a postdoctoral researcher.  
Name: Shauna Morin

Shauna Morin
Shauna Morin

Hometown: Portage, Maine

Field of Study: Ph.D., Educational Research and Policy Analysis

What’s Next: A postdoctoral research position at the College of Education for the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) 

Why I Chose My Field of Study: As an undergraduate, I was actively engaged in student life on my campus and in particular gravitated toward service-learning and social justice initiatives. Additionally, I attended a faith-based university where there were abundant opportunities to develop spiritually. My decision to pursue a career in student affairs, as well as my specific interest areas within the field, were largely informed by my own positive growth experiences during college and a desire to be part of creating similarly formative experiences for future students.

A Research Project that Made a Big Impact: The opportunity to be part of the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) project as a graduate student, and to continue my involvement in the capacity of a postdoctoral researcher, has been significant for my professional development. IDEALS—which examines how campus climate and college experiences shape students’ knowledge, attitudes, and pluralism with respect to religion and worldview—was immediately compelling to me because it helps those of us in higher education identify features of the campus environment that can be leveraged to support all students’ religious, spiritual or secular worldview development. Further, IDEALS informs interfaith engagement practices that can prepare students to engage productively in diverse communities within their college or university and beyond. I believe deeply in the relevance and timeliness of this research, and at the same time value the practical knowledge and skills I’m gaining as part of the IDEALS team.

What I’ll Miss Most about the College of Education: I am staying on in the College of Education as a postdoctoral researcher for IDEALS, so I don’t have to say goodbye just yet! In terms of what I most value about the College of Education, it is without a doubt my fellow students. Though completing a Ph.D. can seem like a solitary endeavor, I never felt alone amidst my community of peers at NC State. Classmates and cohort members in my doctoral program enriched my learning with their intellectual gifts, and offered ongoing encouragement with kind words and deeds. Colleagues who were completing their doctorates on a part-time basis while also juggling home and work demands offered particular inspiration through their own perseverance. Finally, the curiosity, competence and compassion of fellow students regularly reminded me of what initially drew me to this field of study and gave me hope in the trajectory of our shared profession.