Fall 2014 was the first semester GTC offered Creative Inquiry courses for students to pursue a topic that they may have learned about in a class or something that just interested them. We didn’t have a lot of time to get the word out about the courses, but we were fortunate enough to have two students interested in working with Psychology instructor, Dr. Frank Provenzano. We asked the students to share their experiences thus far.
I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to undertake in-depth explorations, of the diet industry and suicide, under the guidance of two brilliant psychology professionals through the Creative Inquiry course this semester.
For my first project, I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Nilly Barr and Jessie Stanion on a presentation on the dangers of the diet industry. Ms. Barr is a licensed professional counselor who has been in practice for twenty-five years. Jessie recently graduated from Furman University with a degree in neuroscience. I am humbled to join a research team with these two intelligent and amiable women. Ms. Barr has generously agreed to let Jessie and me take the reins of a project that Ms. Barr has spearheaded for several years. Formerly, Ms. Barr raised awareness of eating disorders through posters of women through history. She wanted a new spin on the display and met with us to discuss our ideas. The most challenging aspect of Creative Inquiry is also one of the things that I like about it the most. There is no set schedule, no hard deadlines, and no classroom. It is challenging to juggle schedules to meet face-to-face, since we all work and have other obligations that keep us busy. We usually wind up meeting at the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble on Sunday mornings to discuss the research we gathered independently during the week. Jessie and I have also spent a couple of evenings collaborating through Google docs and by phone. We’ve come up with several ideas on how we want to display the information artistically. Although we both initially approached this as a research project, we are stretching our abilities when it comes to marketing our ideas creatively. I don’t think that either of us expected that we would be working with power tools, literally, when we first agreed to do this project. I really hope we can pull it off.
For my second project, I am working under the guidance of Dr. Frank Provenzano on a meta-analytical review of suicide. I have met with a research librarian to help me gather multiple academic sources on various angles of the subject. After reading through the sources, I will do my best to analyze and summarize the results of multiple studies and present the findings in a research paper. The subject material has interested me for years, for personal reasons, and it can be difficult to read at times. However, I feel fortunate to have an experienced professional to guide me through the process.
Overall, I can say without hesitation that I strongly recommend the Creative Inquiry program to any student who is interested in research. This has been a very positive experience for me, and I hope that other students will take advantage of this course as well.
I have had an incredible experience with Creative Inquiry thus far. I am working one-on-one with Dr. Frank Provenzano to conduct a two-part psychological study – hoping to link increased academic performance to service learning. After conducting the study, I will create a service learning club at Greenville Technical College through my research gathered during my Creative Inquiry class. The service learning club will be called the “Association of Community Empowerment” – which will be exactly what it sounds! I wish to empower both the Greenville Tech community and the local community by gathering students to various organizations in need of volunteers. Through my study, which will showcase that grades improve as individuals engage in service learning, I hope to shed light upon the need for volunteers in the community as well as the academic benefits. Creative Inquiry has been an amazing outlet for me to research what tools I need to help others.
Currently, I am in the beginning stages of writing a meta-analysis for the study, which is a compilation summary of various studies. According to Dr. Provenzano, this study will have a high chance at becoming published in an academic journal. I am studying to become an educator, so being published is a both an honor and a blessing. The Creative Inquiry program has given me the chance to delve deep into my interests. Although Greenville Tech offers many opportunities for classes, Creative Inquiry allows for the individualization of a class.
I feel immensely grateful to be given the chance to study through Creative Inquiry. I have been able to immerse myself in a subject I am truly interested in studying. Psychology classes have always been my favorite classes; however, through Creative Inquiry, I am able to expand further than an average class. Creative Inquiry allows me to be in a class without barriers, as I choose how far I wish to research.