Miranda Carver Martin
2014, Honors College
Prepared to undertake research of consequence in the workplace
From coffee farms in Costa Rica to Zumba classes at Mason, Miranda Carver (Class of 2014) sought out opportunities to undertake field research while at Mason. These experiences have prepared her for work as a children's advocacy researcher at Child Trends, as a Research and Writing Fellow at Food Tank: The Food Think Tank, and now for a PhD in applied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Florida.
Speaking of the important role that the Honors College played in her developing identity as a researcher, Carver says: “I benefited greatly from the numerous opportunities to look at issues from a variety of angles and to conduct research into questions that interested me." Elaborating on how the Honors College began preparing her for this kind of research starting in her first semester, Carver observes that the research and analysis skills she learned in Honors 110 "have been invaluable," both in her upper-level coursework and in the workplace.
During her time at Mason, Miranda participated in several intensive research projects. One led her to observe working conditions at a Costa Rica coffee farm, another called on her to observe Zumba classes at the Mason gyms, and in another—perhaps most relevant to her current employment—she studied charter schools in Washington D.C.
Her commitment to improving educational experiences was also evident in her participation in the Honors College Research, Technology, and Online Community project. As a participant in this initiative, Miranda consulted with faculty in order to plan and develop more effective ways to use digital tools when teaching basic research processes.
Miranda’s exploratory research experience at Mason led to a position as a Senior Research Assistant at Child Trends, a children's advocacy organization in Bethesda, Maryland. Then, her interest in food access issues led her to a research position at a regional think tank and ultimately to her doctoral research project.