By Mikayla Boise (senior 2019)
“During their college years, many students encounter new information they have never faced before. They begin to understand the injustices in the world, leaving them questioning the beliefs they once held. This can be a disturbing time in one’s life. How can this be a fruitful experience? How can college students develop more empathy for issues they may not understand?
My honors project centers around this question. Specifically, it focuses on empathy for human trafficking victims – how we can best inform college students about human trafficking, creating a more empathetic response? My hypothesis is that participants will have more empathy for victims of human trafficking if they read a personal story and see their picture, rather than reading a statistical article about human trafficking. The honors seminar on empathy has tackled big questions about empathy, helped me recruit participants for one of my data collection sessions, and even created a final campus project about empathy. My hope is that we will continue to practice empathy on this campus – especially towards issues (or people) that we do not fully understand.”