Undergrads take research to the blogosphere
Three undergraduate researchers are penning - or more accurately, keyboarding - their way into the blogosphere.
Pauline Capelle, Megan Wightman and Holly Unruh - all Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) winners - are sharing their summer experiences on a new blog located on the School of Graduate Studies website.
As USRA recipients, the students will spend the next few weeks immersed in research life. The blogs provide a platform for them to share those hands-on experiences with the broader community.
Capelle is examining the effects of pollution on the learning behaviours of the round goby, an invasive species of fish that has made a home in the waters of the Great Lakes.
Working with her supervisor Sigal Balshine in psychology, neuroscience & behaviour, Capelle will spend time in both the lab and the field.
Wightman's summer research will contribute to an experiential-based seminar focused on helping students see a connection between classroom learning and a potential teaching career. She will complete her research in the French department, under the supervision of Elzbieta Grodek.
Unruh's research looks at patient home care in Ontario, and the correlation between patient satisfaction and the level of communication they received during their home care. Unruh is completing her USRA work under supervisor Philip Savage in communication studies.
In all, more than 110 undergraduate students from across all faculties are taking part in the USRA program this summer.
Allison Sekuler, associate vice-president and dean of the School of Graduate Studies, home to the Office of Undergraduate Research, says the hands-on aspect of helping create knowledge, rather than just reading about it, is an eye-opening experience for the students.
"Undergraduate research is a critical complement to what students learn in the traditional classroom. It's the best way for students to discover their true passions," said Sekuler.
"Our undergraduate researchers learn so much during those months - both about their areas of inquiry, and about themselves. It's really a transformative experience for so many students, and it provides a great opportunity to build close relationships with faculty and graduate students."
On November 12 the annual USRA Poster Session will be held in CIBC Hall. The session will highlight many of the discoveries from this summer's research.
The Undergraduate Student Research Awards are sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; the Office of the Vice-President Research and International Affairs; the faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Business; the Arts & Science program; and the School of Graduate Studies.