Data collection is complete and analysis projected completion 2019. 

Dear MFA student enrolled in THEA 611,

My name is Heather Corwin, Ph.D., and I am an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University. I am doing a research study entitled “Empathy, Community Engagement, and Performing Art Expressions: A Mixed Methods Study.” The purpose of the research study is to explore whether or how community engagement impacts empathy, a component of emotional intelligence (EI).

Your participation will involve taking one demographics survey (2 minutes), completing two short Compassion Scale (8 minutes) at the beginning of the semester and at the conclusion, and being interviewed (60 minutes). You will be expected to be in good standing with your university in order to participate. If you are unable to attend classes regularly or you leave the training program, this will terminate your participation in the study.

The Compassion Scale will ask questions about how you feel you listen to others, your reactions to other people’s problems, and your perception of yourself and others in strengths and weaknesses, and the like. The interview with Dr. Corwin will take approximately 60 minutes and take place in her office on campus, Grant South 321. The interview questions will cover your experience with your community member interview and the process of building expressions around that interaction.

This interview will occur at the end of the Spring 2017 semester after you have performed your combined verbal and non-verbal expression based on the community member interview. Preferably, you will invite the community member to one of these performances. Your interview will be video recorded if you agree and will only be seen by the research team for data purposes.

You can decide to be a part of this study or not. Once you start, you can withdraw from the study at any time without any penalty or loss of benefits. The results of the research study may be published but your identity will remain confidential and your name will not be made known to any outside party. In this research, there are no foreseeable risks to you.

You will be compensated for your participation in this study in the amount of $40. Payment will come to you in the form of a check. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the published study, please let Dr. Corwin know and you will be notified when the study is complete.

If you have any questions about the research study, please call Dr. Corwin at 818-298-1828 and/or email, For questions about your rights as a study participant, or any concerns or complaints, please contact the Northern Illinois University Institutional Review Board via email at or 815-753-8588.

As a participant in this study, you should understand the following:

1. You may decide not to be part of this study or you may want to withdraw from the study at any time. If you want to withdraw, you can do so without any problems.

2. Your identity will be kept confidential.

3. Dr. Heather Corwin, the researcher, has fully explained the nature of the research study and has answered all of your questions and concerns.

4. Data will be kept in a secure and locked area. The data will be kept for five years, and then destroyed.

5. Whether or not you choose to participate in the study will have no effect on your grade in classes or your status within your program of study.

6. The results of this study may be published.

By completing the demographics questionnaire, you are agreeing that you understand the nature of the study, the possible risks to you as a participant, and how your identity will be kept confidential. When you fill out the Demographics form, this means that you are 18 years old or older and that you give your permission to volunteer as a participant in the study that is described here.

Please go to THIS LINK to complete the 2-minute demographics survey, which will enroll in the study.