Faculty Mentor: Leah Stein Duker PhD, OTR/L
Research Lab: Tailored Environmental Modifications (TEM)
Year of Entry: 2023
My research interests encompass two distinct yet interconnected domains. I am deeply passionate about examining culture and its profound impact on individuals and studying children with access and functional needs. These two focus areas reflect my commitment to understanding and improving the lives of individuals within diverse and often marginalized populations. I aspire to contribute to a more inclusive and culturally informed world.
Culture is a multifaceted concept encompassing the beliefs, values, traditions, and practices shared by a group. I am fascinated by how culture shapes individuals’ experiences, identities, and well-being. My research in this area explores the intricate interplay between culture and various aspects of human life, including psychology, identity formation, social interactions, and mental health. I seek to unravel how cultural factors, such as ethnicity, nationality, religion, and socioeconomic background, influence cognitive processes, decision-making, and emotional well-being. I am interested in examining how individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds navigate acculturation and adaptation and how this impacts their sense of self and belonging in different cultural contexts. As a proud Armenian, I am deeply committed to researching the Armenian-American experience. This research holds immense personal and cultural significance for me as I strive to shed light on the rich history, unique challenges, and vibrant contributions of the Armenian diaspora in the United States. Through my work, I aim to explore the multifaceted dimensions of the Armenian-American identity, examining how Armenian heritage, cultural traditions, and historical narratives have shaped the lives of individuals and communities in the United States. By delving into this important aspect of Armenian history and heritage, I hope to contribute to a greater understanding of the broader immigrant experience and promote a more inclusive appreciation of American society’s diverse tapestry.
Children with access and functional needs represent a unique and often underserved population. This research interest stems from my unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights and well-being of these children and their families. Access and functional needs include physical disabilities, cognitive impairments, sensory challenges, and chronic health conditions. My research in this domain focuses on understanding the unique experiences and challenges faced by children with access and functional needs. I aim to investigate the accessibility of educational, healthcare, and social services for these children and how their families and communities provide support. I am dedicated to exploring interventions and strategies to enhance these children’s quality of life, inclusion, and overall development. Incorporating an interdisciplinary approach, my research seeks to bridge the gap between culture and the experiences of children with access and functional needs. I am particularly interested in how cultural factors influence perceptions of disability, access to resources, and the development of inclusive policies and practices that can positively impact the lives of these children.