MBU students, Luke Little (’22) and Mikayla Harrison (’22), received the 2021 Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship Award, a $5,000 research grant for cross-disciplinary research.
The Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship program launched in 2010 to recognize the significance of honors education and increase collaboration among students.
Harrison’s and Little’s research project, “Mitigating Chronic Stress in University Students: A Mixed-Methods Comparative Analysis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Psychological and Physiological Response to Chronic Stress,” won one of the three top prizes. The research will study if cognitive behavioral therapy affects the biochemical and psychological levels of stress in university students.
MBU graduate counseling students will use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to help MBU students manage chronic stress. CBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach that empowers individuals to reframe unhealthy thought patterns and in return, effectively respond to challenges. The counseling sessions for the study are to be conducted by graduate students in the counseling program, and students in the natural sciences division will collect and analyze the data.
“We want to aid the MBU body by encouraging other students to conduct research studies on campus. In the natural sciences division, there has been a lack of independent research. We want to encourage students to take their research ideas and conduct studies with the help of our faculty and staff,” Harrison said. This interdisciplinary study is the first of its kind at MBU.
“Little and Harrison are natural trailblazers. With this fellowship award, they will be able to complete a fascinating study while building bridges that hopefully lead to the start of a great undergraduate research movement at MBU,” said Dr. Carrie Wahlman, the faculty sponsor for the project.