Supporting breastfeeding duration and exclusivity is a significant health-related need of our domestic and global communities, prioritized by the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization. Improving breastfeeding outcomes cannot be done alone but requires an interdisciplinary approach with policymakers identifying ways to protect families and providers, bench scientists understanding the physiology, sociologists and psychologists examining the why, and clinicians supporting the behavior. Although this project can engage students from all academic backgrounds, this summer project will require a student who has a wide range of experiences with survey development and recruitment strategies. This project will enlarge students' capacity for critical thinking by integrating skills learned in the classroom and in leadership positions to contribute to the research proposal design and human subject review application. This project will encourage students to engage in the creative process by seeking input from possible participants and designing recruitment materials. Furthermore, the student will engage with diverse black, brown, and low-income communities and an interdisciplinary team of nurse scientists, lactation consultants, doulas, other health care providers, public health officials, and parents of infants.
Student Research Responsibilities will include
-Write computer programs after provided training
-Refine existing surveys
-Participate in grant writing
-Pilot surveys and human milk analysis and obtain feedback from participants
-Develop research student protocols
-Create instructional videos, and promotional materials
This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Global Health and Nursing. However, the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Nursing. Global Health major/minor students are preferred but nursing students will also be considered.