Rachel Renbarger, an educational psychology doctoral student at Baylor, is in the midst of a six-month data-analysis internship in Paris with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The OECD offers many internships — 40 in education alone. However, Renbarger was the only intern selected as a data analyst for the study on social and emotional skills. “Day to day, I’ll be doing a lot of teamwork and a lot of collaboration,” Renbarger said.
During her time working on the study, the main focus is on field data – working to make sure that everything is set to run smoothly later in the study. “I think it’s going to be really great to collaborate with people who are from outside the U.S., because I haven’t done that before,” Renbarger said.
Renbarger will be analyzing the relationship between student grades and demographic variables in order to construct the variable for socioeconomic status. Additionally, Renbarger will be working to refine the parent and student questionnaires, update brochures and write internal reports for advisory and technical groups.
Renbarger has been waiting for this opportunity since she originally heard about a few years ago. “I was at the American Educational Research Association conference where someone was presenting on a data set that I thought was really cool,” Renbarger said. “He was able to do this research because of his experience as a data analyst intern with the OECD.”
At Baylor, Renbarger does research on quantitative methodology and human development. This year Renbarger has also been busy working on her dissertation. She attends a writing group, conducts research meetings, and tries to read as much as possible in the in-between moments. Renbarger is also president of the Baylor Graduate Student Association.
While she loves her work at Baylor, Renbarger was extremely excited to begin this new chapter. She was looking forward to collaborating with fellow researchers and of course, having her fair share of Parisian food. “I’m excited about all of the cheese and baguettes,” Renbarger said.
Though she has visited Paris multiple times, she was eager for the new challenges that come from living in a different country for six months, and she learned as much French as she could in preparation for her trip. “I love travelling abroad,” Renbarger said. “I get antsy being in the States for too long.”
As she began her adventure, Renbarger’s main concern was that she would love her time in Paris with the OECD too much. “I’m a little worried that I won’t want to come home,” Renbarger said.
Renbarger will return from her internship in August, when she will become a full-time lecturer at Baylor.
—By Andi Risk
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For more than 100 years Baylor educators have carried the mission and practices of the School of Education to classrooms and beyond as teachers, superintendents, psychologists, health education professionals, academics/scholars and more. With more than 50 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.
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Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.