Submit Undergraduate Research Highlights by November 3, 2016, for the Spring 2017 CUR Quarterly.
Undergraduate Research Highlights briefly describe peer-reviewed research or scholarly work that has appeared in academic journals, book and book chapters, Web-based publications, and juried performances that have occurred within the past six months. These publications must be in print and must include one or more undergraduate coauthors. Undergraduate research journal contributions or conference abstracts are generally not accepted. http://www.cur.org/call-spr17-UGresearch-highlights/
The University of Central Florida invites faculty, administrators, and professional staff to participate in a two-day symposium focused on strengthening and developing undergraduate research. All of Florida’s public and private 4-year universities and community colleges are invited to participate in the eighth annual event. Last year, at the seventh annual event, over 90 faculty and administrators from throughout the state participated. Some of the topics for presentations and workshops include, but are not limited to, best practices in undergraduate research, research on undergraduate research, resources to develop strong programs, networking between campuses, and issues in undergraduate research. Click here to review the 2015 event program.
“I strongly believe in the liberal arts mission that gives professors the opportunity to provide undergraduate students with high quality teaching and research experiences,” Evans said. “Because I so firmly believe that environmental sustainability is a critical issue for both the present and the future, it energizes me to help undergraduates make connections about the world that are difficult to make inside the classroom.”
Call for Submissions, Summer 2017 CUR Quarterly Consider submitting an article or vignette for the Summer 2017 CUR Quarterly on “Undergraduate Research and Higher Education of the Future”; deadline is August 5, 2016. View the full call for papers.
Additional highlights from CUR …
Noel Painter, Ph.D., interim executive vice president and provost and an associate professor of music, assists student Marcus Jones.
In the 1990 landmark report Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, Ernest Boyer called our attention to the need for institutions of higher education to connect the work of the academy to the social and environmental challenges of our world.
At Stetson University, we rise to this challenge through effective teaching. And, it is through our continuous engagement in scholarly and creative inquiry that we elevate our roles as teacher-scholars. In so doing, we stimulate a culture of lifelong learning that connects our work to our world.
Lifelong learning comes naturally to us as we enjoy conducting research and creative work. For Thomas Farrell, Ph.D., professor and chair of English at Stetson, research is central to faculty professional training and identity. “We chose our careers because we loved that work,” said Farrell, “and that love means that it continues to matter to us.”
Yet, the term “research” is fairly new to the vocabulary of American higher education. Introduced in 1906 by Daniel Gilman, “research” was coined to enlarge the definition of the university as not only a place of teaching, but also a place of learning.
As a place of learning — to wonder, discover, create, invent, reinterpret, integrate and share — smaller colleges and universities that possess an integrative teacher-scholar mission offer unique opportunities for faculty to explore any — or a combination — of the four pillars of research and creative activity identified by Boyer. The first pillar, discovery, involves the creation and dissemination of novel ideas within an established field. During the scholarship of integration, research is summarized across disciplines.
Application research involves serving one’s community and profession, while teaching research integrates learning theory and mentorship. Faculty at these schools can explore innovative ideas, pursue new territory, cross disciplinary boundaries and diverge from traditional scholarly boundaries.
In harnessing our collective expertise, Stetson has been able to respond in unique ways to complex global challenges. At the College of Law, for example, the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy conducts research at the intersection of education, research and service as related to issues of biodiversity. The Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center, home to the special collections of Oscar Bluemner, engages our campus and broader community in creative work using art as activism while raising Stetson’s liberal learning mission and values around timely issues.Stetson benefits from Boyer’s openness to a wide range of scholarly and creative inquiry. Unlike research-intensive universities, the rich diversity offered by each of the four pillars of research and creative work manifests in disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry that runs the gamut — from issues of social justice and advocacy to new musical compositions, from the scholarship of teaching and learning to stoneflies.
Stetson’s new Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience promotes interdisciplinary research to inform policy in the quest for solving challenging environmental issues. In our Roland George Investments Program, students use research and education to manage a real portfolio of investments.
An evolving paradigm points to faculty research as a key measure of institutional attractiveness to new faculty and students. For example, we attract Brown Teacher- Scholar Fellows and Jacobs Fellows who celebrate Stetson’s teacher-scholar role. We attract individuals who are new to higher-education faculty — either recent Ph.D.-earners or accomplished professionals who are making a career shift to higher education.
Fellows receive mentoring from long-serving Stetson faculty in the teacher-scholar role and Stetson’s mission-based approach to learning. They collaborate with Stetson faculty on teaching and scholarship, bringing new energy and insight to our doors. These roles follow a “post doc” model, limited to two successive one-year appointments, after which the Fellows pursue tenure-track faculty positions at other institutions. This distributes Stetson teacher-scholar excellence throughout academia.
Faculty at learning-centered institutions like Stetson can include students in their scholarship and creative activity, thereby gaining the advantage of students’ fresh perspectives. Faculty can involve students in their own professional development as teacher-scholars and experience the satisfaction of transformative learning students realize in the process.
Therein lies the power of the hyphen in the term “teacher-scholar.” The hyphen uniquely integrates teachers’ facilitation of student learning and scholars’ continuous intellectual and creative inquiry. The hyphen makes the learning community come alive.
“As a result, our research makes us better teachers of today’s students,” notes Farrell, who also is chair of Stetson’s Professional Development Committee. “And it does so not just in terms of content, but also in terms of pedagogy. Our various forms of ongoing professional activity make us sharper and more focused in the classroom, more ready to consider the ways those issues present themselves today.”
And, when Stetson faculty bring the messiness of research into the classroom, they model the real exhilarating and exasperating process of learning and inspire the next generation of courageous learners and leaders. This is confirmed by a considerable body of research, much of it cataloged by the Council on Undergraduate Research, which shows that students who access research and creative opportunities in and outside of the classroom demonstrate improved confidence, clearer career pathways and advanced professional skills.
Since 1883, Stetson’s vision has remained constant: graduate students who dare to be significant in a world faced with rapid change and as-yet-unimagined challenges and opportunities. We stress research and creative inquiry at Stetson because we know that when we give a person a fish, he or she can have a meal; but when we teach a person to fish, that person can eat for a lifetime
By Rosalie Richards
Note: Rosalie Richards, Ph.D., is associate provost for Faculty Development and professor of chemistry and education.
Hala ElAarag, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science, was awarded the 2015 Faculty Mentoring Award from the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). More