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  • College of Arts & Sciences

    • Dean's Office
    • Kapelski, Room 209
    • tel: 610-499-4336
    • fax: 610-499-4605

Student Research, Arts & Sciences

At some universities, you have to be a graduate student to do real research. But in Widener’s College of Arts & Sciences, we want you to start thinking like a scholar as soon as you arrive on campus.

As early as freshman year, you'll have the opportunity to embark on research projects that will put you ahead of the game when you apply for jobs or graduate school.

Our faculty members in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities all conduct research that they are truly passionate about, and they are eager to share that enthusiasm with you.

Whether you participate in a faculty research or book project or design your own individual research project, you will learn about problem solving, data collection and analysis, concise communication, and persuasive presentation techniques. You will have opportunities to present at local, national, and international meetings. You may even see your name appear in a scholarly journal as a result of your work.

Summer Research Program

The College of Arts and Sciences has a Student Summer Housing Program for students working on faculty-mentored research throughout the summer months and participating in the university’s Summer Research Program. Through this Summer Research Program, participants come together weekly for both social activities and professional development seminars. The program culminates with a symposium, where students showcase their results with poster presentations. 

Faculty and Student Collaborations

At Widener, you can assist faculty members with research projects and publications for a truly personalized learning experience.

English and creative writing major Emily DeFreitas, ’15, collaborated with Jayne Thompson, senior lecturer in English, to edit the book Letters to My Younger Self: An Anthology of Writings by Incarcerated Men at SCI Graterford and a Writing Workbook. The submissions for the book came from men in a creative writing class Thompson voluntarily taught at Graterford. The book has received media attention as copies are distributed to at-risk youth to stop the school-to-prison pipeline.

Dr. Harry Augensen, professor of physics and astronomy, regularly takes a group of science students to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ, to participate in his ongoing research project on variable stars. Widener is part of the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO), a consortium of 13 institutions that share the observatory’s 31-inch telescope.

Psychology majors have assisted Dr. Lori Simons, associate professor of psychology, on an evaluation study of an after-school program at Chester Eastside Ministries. Now students from psychology and criminal justice are assessing a Youth Courts program in which young people are trained to run courts for their peers as an alternative justice system in schools.  

Additional Opportunities

Widener students also conduct research through semester break programs in countries such as Peru, Costa Rica, Trinidad, Honduras, and Mexico, which combine student research, leadership, cross-cultural communication, and service learning.

Individually, students have the opportunity to apply for funding to support a project that allows them to address an issue at Widener, in the local community, or around the world through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).