Inaugural Undergraduate Research Expo held on campus
The Lamar University Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) held the first Undergraduate Research Expo on April 7. The expo included 42 students representing 21 Lamar departments presenting undergraduate research. Ana Beardsley Christensen, associate professor of biology, was the keynote speaker for the event.
“We believe student research presentations provide an important opportunity for students to share findings with other undergraduates and faculty members,” said Kumer Das, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and associate professor of mathematics. “This annual event will recognize and promote student scholarly activities in research and creative production and celebrate collaboration among faculty and students within and across disciplines.”
The Expo included presentations from 10 undergraduate research grant recipients from the OUR for 2014. The OUR Advisory Council selected proposals that addressed interesting and significant questions, presented compelling ideas, described appropriate research methods to address the questions and were strongly endorsed by the students’ faculty mentors.
“The involvement of undergraduate students in collaborative research and creative activity with faculty members is a proven and powerful practice when one considers the many educational benefits gained by students, the professional rewards accorded to faculty mentors and the contributions to the wider research community,” said Das.
With the objective of promoting an innovation-oriented culture at Lamar, the newly-created Office of Undergraduate Research encourages all students and faculty in all disciplines to participate in undergraduate research. In addition to helping students with research and funding, some of the office’s many goals include hosting workshops for undergraduate students, hosting the annual undergraduate research exposition, applying for the annual Posters on the Hill competition, becoming a campus liaison to the Council of Undergraduate Research and hosting at least one national or regional conference.
“The creation of this initiative is a part of the university’s strategic plan to offer undergraduates and selected graduates educational experiences of excellence, both curricular and co-curricular, which engage students with faculty and staff to meet their diverse needs,” said Das.
For more information regarding the Office of Undergraduate Research contact Kumer Das at firstname.lastname@example.org .