Club offers students research experience

Officers of the Undergraduate Research Club from left: Vice President Brian Fernandez, President Alec Watson and Elementary Chair Traci Dorsetti.

The Undergraduate Research Club is a new club on campus that aims to inform the undergraduate student body about research, help with personal projects and with these projects, give students the opportunity to go to national conventions to present their research.

Dr. Deborah Williams, assistant professor of elementary education, is the club’s adviser and believes in students’ engagement in research.

“I believe data collection and analyses are a part of a formula that moves a person or organization from good to great,” Williams said.

According to Williams, she agreed to be the faculty adviser when one of her former students completed research projects in three of her reading courses, and the student noticed that several of his peers did not have opportunities to engage in research. The student then went through the file process to make the club in the fall of 2017, and since he graduated last spring, the club is revising its laws to better help the student body.

In collaboration with the Ralph W. Steen Library’s resources, undergraduate students will receive assistance with projects that are related to research and scholarship from the club.

According to Williams, with these resources, the club will target how to identify credible sources and develop a credible literature review.

“We are currently looking for faculty to come and explain and explore their program’s ways of research,” said Alec Watson, sophomore political science major from Austin and president of the undergraduate research club. “We want to work with individuals’ personal projects as well as bring in speakers to inform those that are stuck on what the next step is, or just how to get started.”

With the research the students conduct, club members’ mission is to help students refine their work in order to make it to the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, or to SFA’s own Undergraduate Research Conference.

According to scholarworks.sfasu.edu, SFA’s Undergraduate Conference is an annual competition that showcases students’ work from each of SFA’s six colleges. Any paper or project composed or performed during the previous calendar year as part of an undergraduate course, or faculty supervised independent project, is available to be showcased in the BPSC Theater and Twilight Ballroom from 4 to 7:30 p.m April 16, 2019.

If interested in the SFA Conference, the deadline for submission to departments is Feb. 8, 2019. For further information, go to sfasu. edu/honors/urc/.

Members of the club are happy to help if studentsareinterestedin the National Conference of Undergraduate Research.

“What made me initially interested in research was the opportunity of scholarships,” Watson said. “But I also enjoy being able to do individual learning to gain knowledge on something I am interested about with the possibility of benefiting my future success.”

The club has no dues, and meetings will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. every Monday night in the Steen Library, Room 205.

The club welcomes students of any classification, from freshman to senior, from all fields of study who aspire to make a difference in society through either research or creative projects.

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