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Home work: FMU student studying sense of place

January 28, 2019
Francis Marion University junior Ashley Krause was named a 2019 Student Research Fellow with the South Carolina Humanities Council for her research on what makes a place feel like home.

FLORENCE, S.C. – After moving across the country to South Carolina, Francis Marion University junior Ashley Krause found a sense of home in the Palmetto State, which led to her researching people’s sense of place in the South and at FMU.

Krause took a cultural geography honors course that discussed the idea of sense of place, or how a person feels when they interact with a place.

Through learning about the sense of place, Krause said she fell in love with the concept, because she had a greater sense of place in South Carolina than in Kansas, even though it had only been her home since May of 2016.

“I started it because I fell in love with the concept, and because I came here and felt a different way when I was in Kansas,” Krause said. “I was like, OK, ‘How do I feel more at home in a place that I’ve only been for two years, but I lived in Kansas for 18 years but felt not at home.’”

Last year, Krause began the project last year with her mentor, Teresa Herzog, a professor of psychology, designing qualitative and quantitative methods to find if there’s a correlation between one’s travel experience and their sense of home in the South at FMU, as well as a relationship between sense of place and risky behavior.

Krause completed a survey for her research and analyzed the quantitative portion of her research during the fall and is currently analyzing the qualitative portion of her survey. She will finish the research in April, and the project will also count toward graduating with university honors.

So far, the survey results have shown that people who have traveled more have a higher sense of place, which is the opposite of what Krause predicted. She predicted that those who have traveled more would have a lower sense of place.

Krause said there is a possibility for the project to be continued and furthered after the spring semester.

For her research project, Krause was named one of two student research fellows by the South Carolina Humanities Council for her project titled “Sense of Place Dimensions in Relation to Personality in the Rural Place.”

Krause said through doing research for the first time, she has had to learn as she has gone, which has shaped her academic career.

“Actually taking something and applying it is what you’re supposed to do, but actually doing that is not easy,” Krause said. “I’m evolving as a person, because that is what college is, but at the same time, I’m evolving as an academic.”

Krause said she wants to take this research and build off of it for her master’s and doctorate programs.

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