PURE award ignites Social Work student's research passion

Kendal David's disability research provides unique student perspective

Social Work student Kendal David discovered a passion for research with her summer Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) award. David studied the experience of disabled students in social work education. Photo by Kloie Picot, Faculty of Social Work

By Sarah Mateshaytis, Faculty of Social Work

If you asked her a year ago, Kendal David might have said she wasn’t qualified to do research. Following a summer of research, she can’t help but exude enthusiasm as she talks about it. David is a fourth-year Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) student at the University of Calgary. She recently completed her 16-week independent summer research project, an opportunity made available to her through the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) awards. 

For David, it was a hugely insightful opportunity. She says it served as a catalyst for her to dip her toes into research and has strongly influenced her post-graduation plans. It’s also informed a lot of decisions for her, including what she wants to study and where she wants to pursue a thesis-based Master of Social Work (MSW).

“I think prior to doing this project I would have used the MSW as a career stepping stone in the sense that it would be nice to take an extra year of courses and learn some more, and be in a different pay grade,” says David. “It’s interesting because I’m now way more excited about doing a thesis or doing research in a master’s program than I am about the coursework.”

The PURE awards provide UCalgary undergraduate students with funding so they can conduct independent summer research projects. With support from a supervisor, students learn how to develop and carry out a project, and are given the opportunity to choose their area of focus. 

Read the full article in UToday.