Dean Boyd shines light on undergraduate research
Mary K. Boyd, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, co-edited the recently published book Broadening Participation in Undergraduate Research: Fostering Excellence and Enhancing the Impact. Published by the Council on Undergraduate Research, the book provides design principles, strategies and examples of programs to engage undergraduate students in research, scholarship and creative activity. The book describes the benefits of providing undergraduate research opportunities to all students and all disciplines.
At a recent panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to promote the release of the book Boyd stated, "Broadening participation in undergraduate research is about maximizing potential – the potential of students, research, and institutions – and expanding our understanding of the world. High-quality programs across the country are enhancing the lives of students, the direction of their scholarship and its impact on their disciplines and institutions."
USD is one of the institutions to realize the potential of undergraduate research, providing opportunities for students during the academic year and the summer. The Pre-Undergraduate Research Experience program (PURE) and the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) provide financial support during the summer for students to take part in undergraduate research, fostering relationships with their faculty advisors and advancing the personal and professional development of the students. Students from all disciplines in the college receive funding as part of the PURE and SURE programs, and for many students, these programs are an incentive to attend USD. Kent Lee, an incoming freshman selected for the PURE program, recently commented that he elected to attend USD because of the low faculty to student ratio and the opportunities for research that encourages undergraduate students to work closely with faculty.
These programs encourage students to grow academically while assisting faculty research. They also open up opportunities to students who might not normally be able to participate in summer research and encourage students in all disciplines and majors to consider conducting their own research projects. Whether a student is studying chemistry, history, mathematics or theatre the experience of working one on one with faculty for an independent research project helps students develop professionally, demonstrating greater confidence and knowledge in their field of study.
- Lyndsey Scully