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Program Supports Addition of Research into New and Existing Courses

Program Supports Addition of Research into New and Existing Courses

Posted: May 8, 2014

Each year, Buffalo State’s Undergraduate Research Office administers a wide variety of programs to engage students in academic discovery. Last week’s Student Research and Creativity Celebration, for example, included the work of about 475 students mentored by more than 125 faculty members in disciplines ranging from education to health and nutrition to natural and social sciences.

The Integration of Undergraduate Research into the Curriculum program is a professional development opportunity that offers a greater number of students the chance to experience the research process and develop related skills. The program awards faculty stipends of $750 to $1,000 for the development of a new course or the revision of an existing course to include a substantial research, scholarly, or creative component.

Gary Solar, chair and associate professor of earth sciences and science education, used the award to redesign the GES 401: Advanced Petrology course as a logical follow up to GES 303: Mineralogy and Petrology. While geology students are introduced to rocks and minerals in GES 101 and 103 and perform large volume specimen examination in GES 303, the advanced course allows them to complete an in-depth, semester-long research projects that include the detailed analysis of fewer samples, preparation of an abstract for the Student Research and Creativity Celebration, and presentation at the event.

“As our students continue into the 401 course they use advanced equipment and learn new, transferable petrology skills,” said Solar. “Each specimen is unique, as is each individual project.”

Michael Niman, professor of communication, used his award to develop the Communication Department’s capstone class, COM 450: Media and Society. The course examines the role of communication in society, contemporary issues in mass media, and the ethical responsibilities of communication professionals.

"Over the years, students from this class have gone on from presenting at the Student Research and Creativity Celebration to present their projects at regional and national academic conferences. They have used these experiences as credentials to earn graduate school acceptances and funding,” said Niman.”They continue to contact me years after presenting, citing their successful struggles to conduct research and present it as transformational in building their self esteem, giving them confidence as scholars, and enabling them to envision new life paths and opportunities. This is a fantastic program."

Applications for the program are being accepted through midnight Wednesday, May 14.

More information can be found on the Undergraduate Research Office site.


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