Kevin Draeger

Kevin learns outside the classroom through research opportunity

Kevin Draeger came to Iowa State the fall of 2013. He immediately got involved in a variety of activities, including major-specific clubs and leadership positions for his residence hall. Although these look great on a resume, one of Kevin’s most pertinent experiences happened his sophomore year.

While enrolled in KIN 252, a required course for kinesiology majors, Kevin listened to several different professors lecture. One particular day, Professor Chen taught. At the end of the lecture, he encouraged students to email if they were interested in helping with his research: testing a physical education program for elementary students. Kevin jumped at the opportunity.

Professor Chen let students decide their own schedules. Kevin worked about three to four hours per week. In those hours, he learned valuable research skills from collecting and sorting data. He also went to the different physical education classes in the elementary schools to observe the program and record data.

Kevin said he enjoyed traveling and working with Professor Chen and the rest of the team.

“It gave me a perspective to why what we learn in class is important,” he said. “Plus, it is also fun!”

Now, Kevin is thinking about his research topic for his honors project. He said he isn’t sure which topic he wants to focus on, but he feels more prepared due to his work with Professor Chen. Kevin also wants to encourage other students to take advantage of research opportunities on campus.

“Being involved in research really connects what you are learning in the classroom to what is going on outside of the classroom,” he said. “It demonstrates why what you are learning is so important and how you can use what you are learning to improve the community.”