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SOAR Profile - Megan Davis

Name: Megan Davis 
Major/minor: Sociology 
Expected date of graduation: Spring 2015 
Hometown: Millington, N.J. 
Activities: President of Colleges Against Cancer, a 26 points ambassador, member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority 
Project title: Parental Influences on Language Development in Young Children with and without Hearing Loss 
Project advisor: Jean Desjardin

Research, Megan Davis says, feels almost like second nature thanks to her classes at Moravian. As a result, the sociology major felt comfortable undertaking her 2013 SOAR project.

“As someone who is going through the education program at Moravian, researching children and their development almost comes naturally to me,” Megan explains. “When I heard of such an opportunity, I realized that it could be something truly amazing.”

Under the guidance of Jean Desjardin, assistant professor of education, Megan teamed with a classmate to research how infants and young children develop, and how differences in their hearing affects their progress. As part of her project, Megan examined video interactions of young children and their mothers, fathers, grandparents and caregivers.

“Through these we were able to code their interaction, and everything about their interaction through them playing together and reading together,” she says. “We took this and then rated the interaction. As we did more and more videos, we were able to compare them.”

As part of the program, each child was observed around their birthdays for the first three years of life. This allowed Megan and others to “see how they personally developed over those three years, as well as how they compared to other children, both with and without normal hearing.”

Megan’s findings will be tied into past and future work by Desjardin, which will allow observers to further “realize how intelligent children with hearing loss can be, and how we can help them to go along the same path of development as a child with normal hearing,” she says.

Megan found her SOAR project to be extremely rewarding, noting “this is something I knew I couldn’t pass up.” She added that the SOAR experience has been great preparation for her future in education and in classroom settings with children.