The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Kelly Higgins in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Kelly Higgins graduated from Longwood University in December of 2020 with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology. She is now planning to pursue a M.A. in clinical mental health counseling at James Madison University beginning in the fall of 2021. The main purpose of Kelly’s research study was to gauge student perceptions of the sudden move to online learning as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kelly was first asked to assist with this project in June of 2020, although data collection had begun far prior to that back in March 2020. She decided to participate in student research because she “genuinely wanted to learn more about the sociological impact that the coronavirus pandemic was having on other students like myself. Additionally, I wanted to improve my skills as a researcher and knew that working with Dr. Grether and Dr. MacDonald was an opportunity I could not miss out on.”

This research experience made her “more confident in my abilities as a researcher and writer while simultaneously improving my desire for creative inquiry. I now confidently look forward to collaborating with students and professors on future research projects as I begin my graduate studies.”

Overall, her favorite part of doing this research was getting to read through such diverse student responses to the survey. “Getting to see firsthand how other students were coping with the sudden switch to virtual learning was meaningful to me seeing as I was similarly going through that transition as well.”

Kelly’s research was published in an article in Volume 54 of the Virginia Social Sciences Journal (VSSJ). Furthermore, she is currently preparing to present her findings in the Virginia Social Science Association (VSSA) Annual Research Conference in April

Congratulations to Kelly on her successful research!


If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or