Undergraduate Research

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Muna Rehman

Muna Rehman
Arabic & Government
“[Undergraduate research] has really helped me evolve from just a regular student to an informed individual.”

Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Ami Pedahzur, Government

Briefly describe your research project.

The focus of my research project is to study the aftermath of political assassinations in an attempt to gauge whether political assassinations are an effective tool to change the political climate of a country or not.

How did you become involved in research?

I became involved in research as a sophomore. I assisted Dr. Pedahzur with his research on a book about comparing terrorist groups in different parts of the world. After that I kept up with the field of terrorism in general and in Spring 2010 I took the Research Internship course offered by the Dept. of Government where I was a RA for the Political Assassinations project under the TIGER Lab, also supervised by Dr. Pedahzur.

What is the most rewarding part of your research experience?

The project is extremely extensive and one of a kind, and being part of such a great effort is extremely pleasing and satisfying. We are finding new trends and answers to a phenomenon that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention and I love being part of this pioneer group!

How has participating in research affected your undergraduate experience?

It has really helped me evolve from just a regular student to an informed individual. The amount of reading and research I have done this past semester has helped me with recognizing political trends, processes and ideologies. I had taken several lecture classes about such things but once I read and researched such ideas myself for the sake of my research project, it was definitely a different and useful learning experience.

How do you think getting involved in research will be helpful to you in the future?

I want to actively pursue research as a career whether as an academic or a government analyst. I feel that my undergraduate research experience is helping me get a head start in what I really want to do. I also think that doing research has really widened my horizons and my mind, which makes me a better candidate for graduate school.

What advice would you give incoming students about getting involved in research?

Be proactive! UT is an enormous school and that can be overwhelming at times but at the same time it’s a great research institution with several opportunities! Use all your resources, including your professors, advisors, classmates and the internet to help you find what you really want to research. It’s all about being involved and alert. My second piece of advice would be to start early on the research hunt. There is a lot out there so the earlier you start, the faster you will get to what you really want to research.