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About Me

Hello! I am Sydney Shearer, a rising senior from Juniata College in central Pennsylvania. I am working towards a double major in Data Science and Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. During the summer of 2021, I am participating in an REU at Marquette University, working on research concerned with Preventing Postpartum Mental Health Problems with Dr. Sabirat Rubya.

Project Description

(From Marquette REU Project Description)

"Postpartum mood disorders represent a major public health issue in the USA affecting between 10% and 20% of mothers. Pregnancy and stressors related to caring for a newborn may increase the risk of poor mental health among women, which in turn may have serious detrimental effects on the health and well-being of the mother and her child. Approximately 1 in 7 women suffer from postpartum depression. The negative effects of postpartum depression on child growth and development, both immediate and long lasting, include impaired attachment, behavior problems, social and cognitive limitations, and low self-esteem. While many studies have been conducted on the prevalence, risk factors and successful treatment rates of it, very few studies have focused on the role of technology to address and meet the mental health needs during postpartum. The goal of this study is to develop a better understanding of maternal postpartum mental health and to design mHealth technology that they will be able to use for assessing and dealing with their mental health problems. Students on this project will conduct interviews and surveys on new mothers to understand their mental health needs and strategies for help-seeking. They may also have the opportunity to develop and prototype new system design ideas for improving postpartum mental health and wellbeing based on research findings."

Work Log

Week 1

Tuesday 6/1

  • Attended REU Orientation (1.5 hours)
  • Attended Mini Data Science Bootcamp (4 hours)
  • Begin reading papers provided by Dr. Rubya (1.5 hours)

Wednesday 6/2

  • Continued Mini Data Science Bootcamp (6 hours)
  • Update wiki page (0.5 hours)

Thursday 6/3

  • Continue reading papers provided by Dr. Rubya (2 hours)
  • Attended Dr. Brylow's talk on Good Research Practices (1 hour)
  • Met with Dr. Rubya for introductions and to create a research plan for the summer (1 hour)
  • Update wiki page (0.5 hours)
  • Begin keyword searches on Google Scholar (1 hour)

Friday 6/4

  • Gain access to databases through Marquette VPN (1 hour)
  • Attempt various keyword searches for literature across databases (3.5 hours)
  • Update wiki page and reflect (0.5 hours)

Week 2

Monday 6/7

  • Attend Responsible Conduct of Research Training (5 hours)
  • Continue various keyword searches for literature across databases
  • Begin to narrow down found literature (1 hour)
  • Update wiki page and reflect (0.5 hours)

Tuesday 6/8

Wednesday 6/9

Thursday 6/10

Friday 6/11