A relationship got recent Tennessee Tech University graduate Leah Massengill thinking.
She created a research paper out of those thoughts about some of the challenges facing interfaith relationships for one of her human ecology classes. That paper recently took second place in a national competition.
“I’m a Christian woman and I was at the time dating a man who was agnostic,” the Brentwood, Tenn., native said. “We really like to talk about issues that affect real life in human ecology and this is something that is on the rise.”
Massengill submitted the paper in a competition hosted by the American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences. Though she did not get any recognition or prizes for taking second place, she said she is proud of her accomplishment. This is the first time the human ecology major has entered a national writing competition.
“I felt like I was really starting a fresh topic,” she said. “I feel like I’m paving the way a bit. There is research about how religion affects your views on life, which is where I drew my information from.”
She said she hopes to continue her research with a position at Vanderbilt University. She plans to one day go there for graduate school, but for now, she is hoping to work there as a research assistant.
“It’s just a topic that’s close to my heart,” she said.
Though the relationship did not last, her interest in the research will.