Published on October 15, 2007
The Obvious and Subtle Benefits of Undergraduate Scholarship: The Obvious and Subtle Benefits of Undergraduate Scholarship Gina MacDonald James Madison University WHY ?: WHY ? Educate the next generation Generate new knowledge For the Students: For the Students Jobs Graduate and professional schools Problem solving and creative thinking Unique skills Investigation to publication Student success = Institutional success One on one mentoring & Excitement: One on one mentoring & Excitement Ask current faculty what made the difference in their careers ? Works for everyone New assessment on undergraduate research in the sciences overwhelmingly supports benefits for ALL students Debate and Exchange of Ideas: Debate and Exchange of Ideas Students present their ideas Publications Presentations at regional, national & international meetings Interactions with experts interested in their projects Students can go back and test new ideas or discuss alternative ideas – THINKING Unique benefits from Undergraduate Research: Unique benefits from Undergraduate Research UG research projects increase student learning Do not have the same pressures Allows unique flexibility in research and outreach efforts! Investigate questions a little outside the box FUN! less rigid = rapid movement to new field Interdisciplinary - REALLY Students and Interpreters: Students and Interpreters Scholarship Helps to…: Scholarship Helps to… Familiarize the next generation of interpreters and educators with the laboratory Scientists are really not that unusual - collaboration Encourage ALL students to continue learning Important experiences for all students Continuing education opportunities for teachers opportunity to update and share their skills with high school students and undergraduates Return on Educational Investments: Return on Educational Investments Not always obvious We need to educate politicians and voters How science works Educate students and society How Science Works: How Science Works Testable Hypotheses Refine hypotheses based on recent results Peer reviewed and reproducibility Basic Research = Applied Research Return on Educational Investments: Return on Educational Investments Similar to science and research funding “There does not exist a category of science to which one can give the name applied science. There are science and the applications of science, bound together as the fruit to the tree which bears it.” …….. Louis Pasteur Why are Education and Research Dollars money well spent ?: Why are Education and Research Dollars money well spent ? Our future is dependent on current investments in research and education. We need to have investments in our intellectual capital. How did they know ?: How did they know ? The basic research that made MRI and fMRI possible began in physics laboratories in the early decades of the last century. Those decades included crucial discoveries by physicists and chemists interested in studying the magnetic properties of atoms and molecules, in seeing how they interact, and in elucidating their basic structures. As George Pake, Purcell's second graduate student, put it in 1993, "Without the basic research, magnetic resonance imaging was unimaginable." http://www.beyonddiscovery.org/content/view.article.asp?a=129 The National Academies Website Nobel Prize: Nobel Prize The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003 How do we know ?: How do we know ? Number theory has for centuries been widely regarded as the purest of the pure sciences, but in recent years it has found many applications in computer security. Studying Insect mating habits and pheromones helps farmers Who is the next American Nobel Prize winner ? How do we explain to politicians and the public that we cannot easily predict what research and educational investments will ultimately yield ? HOW ?: HOW ? Its not all about the money Short Answers to Implementation (in addition to or in the absence of extra $$): Short Answers to Implementation (in addition to or in the absence of extra $$) Faculty Passion for scholarship Integrating research and education Department Scheduling and strategic planning Culture & mission to integrate scholarship & education Institution $$, culture, support, services, planning Faculty: Faculty The Individual Champion(s) most likely started research culture gradually became department culture energizer bunny who made life easier for us! Research Active Faculty year long efforts externally funded publish papers scholarship = education Answers: Answers Scholarship is a PRIORITY Time to think and read the literature Collaborations Conferences especially smaller conferences Sabbaticals Cultural Support: Cultural Support Reward successes of students and faculty Share ideas Scholar-Teacher model expected and supported Students expect and value the opportunity to contribute to research projects Integration = RESULTS: Integration = RESULTS Students Faculty Increased Infrastructure undergraduate research & education Increased number of educated students What can Faculty Control: What can Faculty Control Hiring & Tenure Most important decision dictate culture of department Scholarship & publications with undergraduates is expected Integrate scholarship and coursework Support Faculty and Student Success – Celebrate and expect it Remember: Research IS Education Time spent on research with undergraduates is time spent educating students Products of research: Products of research Added instrumentation and infrastructure for undergraduate projects and laboratories New curriculum that integrates scholarship Students better prepared for employment, graduate, professional school and life Evaluating Success : Evaluating Success Change in department culture research is a priority, research is education Change in university culture influence other departments NCUR all disciplines Increased institutional support Students can achieve their goals Educated Americans Summary: Summary Passion for integrating scholarship & education Benefits students, faculty, institutions and society More of the public excited about learning and dynamic exchange of ideas facilitates democracy and equality.