2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 94-8
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM

HELPING STUDENTS OPEN DOORS TO UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCES UPON TRANSFER


GUERTIN, Laura A., Earth Science, Penn State Brandywine, 25 Yearsley Mill Road, Media, PA 19063, guertin@psu.edu

Students at two-year colleges are seeing increasing opportunities to participate in undergraduate research, whether the experience is classroom inquiry or an independent investigation. Freshmen and sophomores are able to carry out studies that do not require the depth of knowledge as projects at the junior and senior level yet provide students a valuable introduction to the process of doing research. Once students begin establishing foundation skills important for conducting research, how can we as 2YC faculty help students realize these research skills and appropriately market them to new faculty at a new institution upon transfer?

The research process can be a challenging one for 2YC students, especially students that are nontraditional, commuting, and have significant responsibilities outside of campus. At Penn State Brandywine, where all students pursuing Earth & Mineral Science majors must transfer to complete their degrees, I require my undergraduate researchers to prepare a title and abstract for their projects and strongly encourage them to present their work at our campus undergraduate research symposium and/or at the local Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium. This way, students will have an electronic and paper copy, supplemented with photos I take of the students doing the research, to share with faculty they meet at their new institution. I also ask the Office of Marketing and Communications if they are willing to do a story on the student and his/her research project. These articles have appeared on the campus website and have been picked up by newswires outside of the university. By helping students document their research experiences and disseminate their work through conferences and other forms of media, this helps transfer students present a portfolio that not only summarizes their prior research experiences but also provides useful information for a future faculty mentor.

Handouts
  • Copy and pasted html document 1.html (182 bytes)