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Kelsey O’Doran ’14, Harold Young Research Award recipient

Posted: Apr 08, 2013


Passionate about psychological research, Kelsey O'Doran is receiving confirmation that this is the field for her.

Junior psychology and sociology major Kelsey O’Doran (Frankfort, Ill.) has the distinguished honor of receiving the 2013 Harold Young Research Award, presented by the Association of Nazarene Sociologists and Researchers (ANSR) at the recent professional conference.

The purpose of this award is to encourage scholarly research relevant to the Church of the Nazarene. Given annually to an undergraduate student, it is named for Dr. Harold Young, a Christian scholar.

On the journey to receiving this award, Kelsey worked closely with Dr. Ray Bower, chair of the behavioral sciences department and psychology professor. With his guidance, Kelsey developed a research study, “The Effect of Study Mode (face to face vs. online) and Gender of Participant upon Agreement Ratings for Study Mode Chosen.” 

This study examined students’ preferences for Bible study format, asking participating Olivet students a series of questions. They rated their answers on a scale of 1 to 7. Their answers indicated their preferences regarding in person, online or combination (in person and online) Bible study.

Kelsey’s study found that students prefer a combination Bible study format, indicating that while we are more open to a technological format, the face-to-face connection is still highly valued.

Recipe for success

As Kelsey’s mentor, Dr. Bower attributes her success to her dedication and hard work, as well as the tools Olivet is able to provide to its undergraduate researchers.

“We are set up here for research at the undergraduate level,” he says. “The department is set up so students get good experience with special attention in research. A lot of the other competing schools just do not have that.”

To what does Kelsey attribute her success? Dr. Bower’s support and encouragement. “Dr. Bower helped me get the project done,” she says. “I didn’t expect to win at all.”

Inspiration for the future

At the ANSR conference, Kelsey gave a 20-minute presentation of her paper, and it is now posted on the ANSR website.

Receiving this award is an important confirmation for Kelsey as she moves into her future. Successfully completing this project has reinforced her interest in research.

“I am excited to learn more about research,” she says. Spending three days at the ANSR conference with professionals in this field was important for her. “I enjoyed seeing people who have been doing this for years and are still passionate about it.”

Find out more information about Olivet’s Department of Behavioral Sciences and fields of study here.