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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Summer Research Symposium: Panel on Resilience

The Summer Research Intensive wrapped up its final session of its Summer Research Symposium last week. 

The undergraduate researchers were able to hear from a faculty panel as they discussed the navigation of their careers, life advice, and ways to be resilient in challenging times. 

Dr. Lynne Stokes, Professor of Statistical Science, encouraged the students as they think towards their post-undergraduate career to not think “that [they] picked the wrong opportunity, or picked the wrong thing. Don’t feel like you’re looking for the one thing to make you happy. There are a lot of interesting jobs out there.” 

When the panel discussed how students can bounce back from failure in a research project or graduate experience, Dr. David Son, Professor in the Department of Chemistry, affirmed the students to not “take failure or rejection personally. Be persistent and don’t take the failure personal to your character. If you don’t want to fail, don’t try.”

Dr. Sarah Kucker, Professor in the Psychology Department, added to the resiliency conversation by talking about what to look for in a graduate school or industry position. “Fit is really important. Highlight the different qualities that you have and can bring to an experience,” she stated.

Dr. Crystal Clayton, Executive Director of the Hegi Family Career Development Center, concluded the discussion and reminded the students that in their careers they “will get out what [they] put into it. If you put a lot into the experience, you will have a very rich experience. If you take the time to do something, go full on.” 

The panel discussion and Q&A was a great way for the undergraduate researchers to receive some last moments of insight and advice as they finished out the SRI.

 

 

 

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Three Minute Thesis competition results from the summer 2023

The Summer Research Intensive concluded with the Three-Minute Thesis Competition on July 27th. The competition gives SRI students the opportunity to display the research they conducted with their faculty mentor throughout the summer.

The competition was judged by a panel of Faculty and Staff members who selected a first place, second place and third place winner. Judges were Jennifer Ebinger (Director, Office of Engaged Learning), Stephen Fashoro (Media Relations Manager, Marketing & Communications), Dr. Eric Godat (Team Lead, Research & Data Science Services (OIT)), Sylvia Jones (Research Librarian for Spatial & Data Literacy, SMU Libraries), and Dr. Brandon Miller (Assistant Dean, University Honors Program & Fellowships).

Faculty and staff members from across campus also gathered to watch the students compete and discuss their research methods, findings, and next steps.

Winning presenters:

1st Place Winners – (L-R) Kendall Stieben, Jonathan Cox, Dr. John Buynak lab students
2nd Place Winners – (L-R) Elliott Abel, Jacob Britt, David Brock (Data Science REU program)
3rd Place Co-winners, (L-R) Ashley Pritchard, Katie Lark, Christine Jator (Data Science REU program)
3rd Place Co-Winner – Kevin Nguyen, Dr. David Son lab student
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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

A Look at the 2023 Summer Research Intensive So Far

The Summer Research Intensive program has reached its halfway point and has already been jam-packed with lots of opportunities for collaboration and networking. Undergraduate Research Assistants gather weekly to hone their skills in professional development workshops, learn from the experiences of faculty members (Summer Research Symposium), and engage with each other outside of research (“Real Talk” lunches). 

Whether it be coding qualitative data or looking at viscosity studies in chemiluminescence, many of the summer researchers have been able to make strides in their research studies with their faculty mentor, along with building connections with other cohort members in the weekly SRI sessions. 

My favorite part of workshops have probably been the ability to meet other people doing research. The ability to share our unique experiences through the exercises and lessons we do has proven to be very fun and interesting,” says Connor McAlpin, undergraduate research assistant working with Dr. Chrystyna Kouros (Psychology). 

In highlighting one of the professional development workshops thus far, SMU Librarian Director for Educational Initiatives Megan Heuer led a session and took a deep dive into literature reviews for research and for papers. She discussed the different components of a literature review and the resources available to students that will assist them in finding sources relevant to their research questions. 

Brynn Price, senior undergraduate researcher at SMU, discussed how the workshop with Heuer “will prove especially helpful as{she}was asked to help with a systematic review in the coming months.” Brynn is working with Dr. Jeanna Wieselmann (Teaching & Learning) and Dr. Emma Wilson (English). 

“The most impactful point of the discussion was how we should go about formulating a research question and what resources we should use to do so… It helped to streamline and visualize the step-by-step process for my research,” said Marc Pham, undergraduate research assistant working in the lab of Dr. Joe Camp (Electrical & Computer Engineering).

As the undergraduate researchers continue to move through the SRI, the hope is that they will gain a better understanding of what being a research assistant entails and expand their horizon on what research opportunities may be available for them upon their undergraduate career.  

Students in the Summer Research Intensive will be presenting their work on a Three Minute Thesis-style competition on Thursday, July 27, at 2pm in the Hughes-Trigg Chamber. This is open to the public so all are welcome to attend and support these students!