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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!

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Lab Hopping Highlights!

If you weren’t already aware, Lab Hopping made a return this past Thursday! The lab event gave students insight into several undergraduate research opportunities spanning various departments! Offered below is a quick recap of just some of them:

Earthquake Seismology & Tomography Research

Are you interested in earth sciences? According to Professor of Geophysics, Dr. Heather DeShon, the earthquake seismology, and tomographic imaging lab has an opening for an undergraduate researcher. This research opening is especially beneficial for computer science and mathematics majors! If you are interested, feel free to contact Dr. DeShon at

Das Research Group

Perhaps you are interested in chemistry lab research regarding understanding catalytic mechanisms! Below is a picture of Dr. Anindita Das’s assistants Xena El Shamy ‘23 and Hiren Bagga ‘23 working on their current project involving organic covalent frameworks (COFS).

If this area of chemistry research attracts you, please contact

Cox Behavioral Research Lab

Fascinated by how people think and the impact that has on the workplace? According to Professor of Practice in Management and Organization, Dr. Benjamin Dow, this research lab participates in various studies that aren’t limited to students taking basic management courses. Note that the lab brings in new research assistants every semester so if you are interested, please reach out to or

Technological Innovation Research

Let’s say you’re interested in technological innovation and how this is affected by the policies of firms and more specifically governmental organizations. Although the sociology department does not have labs, according to Professor Matthew Keller, the faculty of the department do offer research assistant positions. The general availability of these positions may vary but Dr. Keller will possibly be hiring students in the spring to work on such projects. If this sparks your interest, please contact the professor at

Cellular Quality Control Research

If you take an interest in biological research, you may want to consider working with or being a student of Dr. Zhihao Wu. Below is a picture showing a 3rd year Ph.D. student of Dr.Wu, Ying lu Tang, speaking to students about the lab’s current research involving the discovery of links between the protein quality control system and the mitochondria quality control system.

If this area of biology research interests you, reach out to Dr. Wu at and learn more through

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Undergraduate Research Report 2021-2022

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