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      Point of Pride

      Undergrad Students Spend the Summer On Campus… Researching

      Summer Research

      Stephanie Laurancy and Dr. Becky Jones attend a group session together.

      Summer research is more than just an extension of the academic year at Widener University; it teaches students across all majors to become leaders and innovators in their respective fields.

      Since 2009, students at Widener have been invited to spend the summer participating in research alongside faculty as a way to promote high-impact practices through interdisciplinary collaboration.

      More than 60 students and over a dozen faculty mentors from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering are currently participating in the program. Their research projects include a focus on social media and perceived intimacy in public forums, observations in Taylor Arboretum, green chemistry, and immigration in Latin America. 

      Throughout the summer, research participants and faculty meet weekly as a group for social and professional development activities. Last week Dr. Arthur Schwartz, executive director of Oskin Leadership Institute, gave a presentation, and the week before Janet Long, director of Career Services, presented on interviewing skills.

      “We wanted to provide students with the framework to discuss their summer research projects when interviewing for internships or jobs,” Dr. Angie Corbo, co-director of the summer research program and associate professor of communication studies, said.

      Guest lecturers are also invited to attend the group sessions. Earlier this summer, Jeff Osborn, the dean of the School of Science at The College of New Jersey, visited and discussed the value of undergraduate student research. “His insight made an impact on all the students, as Osbourne focused on how important it can be to participate in programs like this as an undergraduate,” Dr. Loyd Bastin, co-director of the summer research program and associate professor of chemistry, said.

      For Stephanie Laurancy, ’18, the opportunity to spend the summer researching is allowing her to get a jump-start on her senior research thesis – “Immigration in Latin America.” The political science major is working with Dr. Becky Jones, associate professor of political science, throughout the summer to explore how immigration is observed in Latin America. “I wanted to know if people there view immigration as we do in the U.S.,” Laurancy said. “It’s been great having the time to meet with Dr. Jones one-on-one to review my findings.”

      Jones agrees that it’s a helpful opportunity for rising seniors working on research papers to participate in the summer program. “This is the third year political science students have been involved, but this is the first year that the students are pursuing their own research topics,” she said. “I think it will help them feel very prepared for their senior thesis.”

      Upcoming Event

      The Summer Research program will culminate with an annual research symposium that will be held on Friday, October 6 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the University Center. More information to follow.

      Learn more about undergraduate research opportunities.

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