Emily Hays

OU Major: 
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Angela Person
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
McMansions are the embodiment of capitalism's limitless consumption. These, in a maze of suburban streets, came to represent the "American Dream." This ideal has serious implications in US societies, on environments, and on individual health. Social and economic divides were established or reinforced by suburbanization. This lack of diversity has led to unfair stigmas applied to groups of people which has increased racism and xenophobia. With no regulations at the start of suburbanization and not enough in place now, homes are built using chemicals and compounds which poison the occupants. While lead and asbestos are now banned, many chemicals are still in use which are proven to or show a strong correlation to the degradation of human health. This is not to mention the sourcing of these materials and the damage it does to the environment and the people of that region. The building sector is one of the largest consumers and polluters in the US.
Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students: 
With any major project, research or otherwise, the best thing you can do is start early. I always set weekly goals, but you should work with whatever schedule suits you best. If you can work on something a little bit all the time, you will accomplish your goal with no huge stress at the end. This will also allow you to have periodic checks by professors and peers to ensure quality and clarity.
Awards and/or presentations: 
Hays, Emily. "McMansions & Urban Sprawl." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.