Wednesday, August 2, 2017


By the numbers…

46: The number of days we have been in Italy. This also happens to be the number of one-on-one interviews we conducted with women living in Tuscany.

2,300: The number of minutes we spent talking to women about their reproductive and sexual health attitudes and behaviors.

115: Hours, yes HOURS. The approximate number of hours our students spent transcribing—verbatim—all recorded interviews.

70: Surveys collected, and still counting…as data collection continues for this portion of the project!

4: Research papers composed by our undergraduate students, who were mentored by two exceptional graduate students.

30,471: The word count across all four manuscripts. WOW!

13 undergraduate students and 2 graduate students collected, transcribed, coded, and analyzed all data in 5 weeks’ time. They also composed manuscripts for publication, and presented their preliminary findings in 15-minute conference-style presentations to their peers, and members of the Florence University of the Arts community. [See photo below of graduate assistant, Sydney Rivera, with her presentation title slide. She presented data from our February research project, which informed our summer data collection methodologies.]

To say I am impressed is a gross understatement. Planning a blended research and study abroad experience was a risk, but one worth taking. While there are certainly things I would change for the coming year (perhaps more pre-departure planning and doing), I would say this “experiment” was a success. Students experienced the full research cycle, and learned many skills along the way—many I had not learned until pursuing my doctoral degree.

Today we celebrated our many accomplishments by cooking a feast fit for 17! We met at Apicius, FUA’s hospitality school, for a private cooking lesson and lunch. Chef Lorenzo Mannucci helped us make two pastas with sauces (tagliatelle with tomato sauce, and ravioli filled with ricotta/spinach with a sage butter sauce) and one gelato (Nutella). [See picture of Chef Lorenzo in action below.]

Just like with our research, we worked in teams to complete the many tasks for our meal. This was such a wonderful way to build our cultural awareness, and really let loose for once! [See one of our favorite recipes below, and picture of the resulting pasta.]

While many students are looking forward to getting back to the US on Friday to family, friends, and familiar places and tastes, they are also starting to feel sadness as they think about leaving this beautiful city, and our time together, behind. We are looking forward to staying connected at Purdue, and moving our research along to professional presentations and publications. Stay tuned for many wonderful things to come!

[See photo below of Chandler Dykstra and Laura Long enjoying the tasty Nutella spatulas!]

This post was composed by Dr. Andrea DeMaria, Assistant Professor at Purdue University and Program Director for this study abroad experience. She can be reached at

1 comment:

  1. You have much to be proud of and I have enjoyed the ride. Thank you