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Undergraduate Research Mentor Program
Biology   Chemistry   Physics   Psychology
 

Biology Research Mentor Program
Chemistry Research Mentor Program
Physics Research Mentor Program
Psychology Research Mentor Program
Evaluation of Undergraduate Mentoring Programs


Research-oriented teaching is labor-intensive. It demands independence and maturity on the part of students, but also ample opportunities for students to receive advice and guidance. Large enrollments have meant that faculty members have had less time to spend with each student than would be ideal.

Biology Mentor

In order to help address these concerns, with the support of the NSF-AIRE grant, Reed initiated an Undergraduate Research Mentor program that incorporates into our courses a systematic program of peer mentoring using experienced students to help develop the research skills of students who are newer to the sciences. Mentors work with a faculty member as part of a team to instill refined and comprehensive research skills in students. This provides more individualized attention for students and permits faculty to introduce a greater diversity of independent research projects. Less experienced students have access to an upper-level peer mentor who can help with the various steps required to design and implement a research project. Intermediate-level students are exposed to more sophisticated projects because the faculty member has the assistance of the mentor. Mentors do not simply convey facts to less advanced students but become involved in collaborative brainstorming about research, both with faculty and students new to research.

Physics Mentor  

Mentors are seniors or juniors who during the summer become involved in ongoing research with a faculty member. This provides uninterrupted time for actual research, the key to developing research skills. The summer experience includes course planning with faculty and a summer seminar to share information about instructional techniques and problems.

 
Biology Research Mentor Program

The summer training emphasizes collaboration with a faculty member on an ongoing research project in order to develop research skills and experience.

Some of the projects that were supported by the NSF-AIRE grant are profiled in videos below. (Quicktime 4 or better is required.)

PROJECT ONE

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

Nhi Khuong, a biology major interested in molecular genetics, worked with Peter Russell on a project developing an experimental system for looking at viral genetics.

PROJECT TWO

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version
Julie Frederickson, a biology major with a microbiology focus, worked with Jay Mellies on a project exploring the molocular mechanisms of the E. coli pathogen.

PROJECT THREE

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

Eleanor Deardorff, a biology major interested in gene regulation, did research with Janis Shampay on telomere length in developing frog embryos.

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Chemistry Research Mentor Program

The summer training emphasizes collaboration with a faculty member on an ongoing research project in order to develop research skills and experience.

One of the projects that was supported by the NSF-AIRE grant is profiled in video below. (Quicktime 4 or better is required.)

PROJECT ONE

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

Hattie Brown, a chemistry major interested in organic and biochemistry, worked with Alan Shusterman to develop a lab experiment for the organic chemistry class.

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Physics Research Mentor Program

The summer training emphasizes collaboration with a faculty member on an ongoing research project in order to develop research skills and experience.

One of the projects that was supported by the NSF-AIRE grant is profiled in video below. (Quicktime 4 or better is required.)

PROJECT ONE

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

Jonathan Fertig, a physics major interested in cosmology, worked with Robert Reynolds on observations of variable stars.

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Psychology Research Mentor Program

The summer training emphasizes collaboration with a faculty member on an ongoing research project in order to develop research skills and experience.

Some of the projects that were supported by the NSF-AIRE grant are profiled in videos below. (Quicktime 4 or better is required.)

PROJECT ONE

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

Rachel Blaser, a psychology major interested in psycholinguistics, worked with Enriqueta Canseco-Gonzalez on a project exploring how ambiguous words are processed by the brain.

PROJECT TWO

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

John Garza, a psychology major working in the subfield of biopsychology, worked with Dell Rhodes on research directed toward an understanding of visual perception and spacial frames of reference.

PROJECT THREE

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

Dana Waichunas worked with Kathy Oleson on statistical analysis problems, lab design, and developed a manual for a software application called Stat View.

PROJECT FOUR

Video 56K Modem Version Video Broadband/Network Version

Christa Helms and Jessica Cooksey worked with Shelly Dickinson on three experiments in the field of psychopharmacology that involved implanting elctrodes in the brains of mice to study dopamine levels.

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