2015-2016 Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars
back row, from left to right: Manju Bangalore, Collin Hickmann, Alexia Smith, and N. Ian Rinehart
front row, from left to right: Selina Robson, Kendra Walters, Victoria Stanfill, and Anna Hickey
not pictured: Brianna Stamas
Major: Physics Academic Year: Sophomore Lab: Corwin Lab
What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research? Apply. Even if you’re only remotely interested, you should take the chance and apply. If you don’t, you’ll never know how much you could learn from the research or where it could land you.
Major: Biochemistry Academic Year: Junior Lab: De Rose Lab
What most excites you about research? I am most excited by the concept of learning something that no one has ever learned before. I am awed by the complexity and perfect machinery of life, and love the idea that I might be able to understand even a small fraction of it.
Major: Biochemistry Academic Year: Junior Lab: Selker Lab
Do you think research has prepared you for life after college, whether that is in graduate school or entering a profession? Research has been the most important component of my undergraduate education, and the thing that most strongly motivates me to continue my education in graduate school. I don’t enjoy learning from textbooks or in lectures, but I love working in the lab and discussing research strategies and findings with other members of my lab. The work I have done in the lab has made me more confident in my ability to enter graduate school and an eventual research career.
N. Ian Rinehart
Major: Chemistry Academic Year: Junior Lab: Tyler Lab
When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research? I became involved in undergraduate research by being my own advocate. I found that it took a lot of consistent follow-ups and persistence. A lot of laboratories don’t have the resources to invest in an undergraduate researcher, so frequent rejection is a reality. In my judgment, my lab chose to accept me because my passion for learning came through in our conversations.
Major: Geology Academic Year: Junior Lab: Hopkins Lab
What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to people. Most professors are excited to have enthusiastic undergraduates working in their labs. Even if an official position is not listed, it never hurts to see if a professor has a project for you. However, you should research the lab ahead of time to ensure that your interests match the lab’s work.
Major: Biochemistry Academic Year: Junior Lab: Johnson Lab
What most excites you about research? What excites me most about research is that whatever you are investigating, you are one of the very few people in the world who know about that topic, perhaps the only one. You can take the research you do and go anywhere with it–there are no limits. Research has enabled me to just continuously ask questions and explore. I also love that everything you do has a direct impact to something greater.
Major: Physics Academic Year: Junior Lab: Majewski Lab
Do you think research has prepared you for life after college, whether that is in graduate school or entering a profession? I definitely think working in a professional academic capacity in a research lab on campus has helped me see what a career would be like. I’ve been able to get a taste of what it would be like both with and without pursuing graduate school. Working in different labs has definitely been integral to this, since every research group is different and they have different level of industry involvement.
Major: Chemistry Academic Year: Junior Lab: Haley Lab
What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research? Start making connections! Check out what all of the professors are researching, and if you find something that interests you, e-mail that professor about wanting to get together! If you start making connections with professors your freshman year, you’ll get a head start on research and be able to graduate with more research experience than most!
Major: Geology Academic Year: Senior Lab: Davis Lab
When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research? I got involved in undergraduate research my first term of college. My academic advisor strongly encouraged research experience and I decided to give it a try! Within the first few weeks, I knew that research was the career choice for me.