Undergraduate research office uses Cards Against Humanity for mock proposals

Apryl Webb, secretary of the office of undergradute research, speaks to 17 attendees during and undergradute research workshop on Sept. 20. Photo by Dewey Cooper

Apryl Webb, secretary of the office of undergraduate research, speaks to 17 attendees during and undergradute research workshop on Sept. 20. Photo by Dewey Cooper

Apryl Webb, secretary of the office of undergraduate research, hosted a workshop titled “Getting Started in Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities” to help students become acclimated to the undergraduate research experience.

Getting started in undergraduate research and creative activities workshop

“We really want to introduce MSU students who are unfamiliar with undergraduate opportunities for research and creative activities,” Webb said. “We want to get more interested and informed students, with higher quality proposals.”

During the workshop on Sept. 20, 17 attendees were presented with ways to get involved with undergraduate research.

“The information about the program was beneficial,” Karema Sallam, business administration sophomore, said. “I know how to do it now.”

Meaghan Rose, biology senior and four time undergraduate research participant, also attended the workshop.

“It helped clarify things for new students,” Rose said. “How to approach a mentor and how to prepare for research.”

After the presentation was given, attendees were split into groups and given a response card from the game Cards Against Humanity. With that card they had to create a research proposal, conduct fake research and present preliminary findings.

“It’s good for new students to practice speaking in front of new people,” Rose said.

After the proposals and findings were presented Sallam mentioned that she now feels more comfortable presenting.

“It gave me experience and practice,” Sallam said.

About undergraduate research

The Office of Undergraduate Research runs two programs, Enhancing Undergraduate Research Endeavors and Creative Activities and Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Summer Workshop.

“We emphasize creative activity because we don’t want to be exclusive of anyone outside of the college of science and math or engineering where you would have the traditional research idea,” Webb said.

EURECA is a semester-long program research activity, and UGROW is a five-week summer intensive with workshops. Both end with students presenting their findings at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activites Forum towards the end of each fall and spring semester. This years will be Nov. 17.

“The benefits are many, the students gain confidence, their communication skills improve, as well as their problem-solving and critical thinking skills,” Magaly Rincon-Zachary, director of undergraduate research, said.

Webb also mentioned the office of undergraduate research supports undergraduate research and creative activity throughout the colleges and not just the office of undergraduate research.

How to get involved in undergraduate research

“Students can get involved through pursuing research that a faculty mentor is already doing on their own,” Webb said. “This is a more common way. Students can also submit their own proposals.”

Both ways require faculty or graduate student mentors.

Webb added that students get out of undergraduate research what they put in.

“We don’t want undergraduate research to be a passive experience,” Webb said.

Future events

  • Nuts and Bolts of Writing and Submitting a EURECA Proposal will be on Oct. 20, 2016.
  • Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum will be on Nov. 17, 2016.

Student requirements for EURECA:

  • Submit application
  • Have an overall GPA of 2.5 and a major GPA of 2.75, freshman must have ACT of 25 or SAT of 1130
  • Enroll in MWSU 2003/4000 Creative Inquiry: Interdisciplinary Thinking
  • Attend all planned meetings, workshops and forums
  • Present results at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum
  • Write a reflective essay

Student requirements or UGROW:

  • Overall GPA of 2.75 and major GPA of 3.0
  • Enroll in UGROW 4900 in the summer semester
  • Attend faculty project presentations and roundtable discussions
  • Present results at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum
  • Write a reflective essay on the experience