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Episode Notes | Transcript | AskTheGuest

 Hi Fives (5 Highlights)   Click for 3-Minute Listen

Professor Graeme Harper is the Dean of Oakland University Honors College, Rochester, Michigan.

Dean Graeme Harper did not do research as an undergraduate. Research in a true sense began for him as a Graduate Student. But Dean Harper is no stranger to creativity. He is a writer with dozens of Fiction and Non-fiction books to his credit.

Today, Dean Harper and his team have embedded UG Research into the Oakland University Honors College Program.

In this podcast, Dean Harper talks about UG Research at the Honors College, CUR’s role, Impact of Research on Students, Success Stories, and advice for high schoolers.

Hi-Fives from the Podcast are:

  1. CUR
  2. Research & UG Students
  3. Faculty Participation
  4. Success Stories
  5. Advice for High Schoolers

Episode Notes

Episode Title: Dean Graeme Harper of Oakland University on UG Research: Independence, Empowerment and Agency.

Dean Graeme Harper did not do research as an undergraduate. Research in a true sense began for him as a Graduate Student. But Dean Harper is no stranger to creativity. He is a writer with dozens of Fiction and Non-fiction books to his credit.

Today, Dean Harper and his team have embedded UG Research into the Oakland University Honors College Program.

In this podcast, Dean Harper talks about UG Research at the Honors College, CUR’s role, Impact of Research on Students, Success Stories, and advice for high schoolers.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Introducing Dean Graeme Harper, OU Honors College [0:53]
  • Hi Fives - Podcast Highlights [2:08]
  • Professional Background [4:39]
  • Personal Impact of UG Research [6:59]
  • Research & UG Students [8:28]
  • Dean Harper’s Role [10:15]
  • CUR’s Role [13:05]
  • UG Research Infrastructure & Resources [16:38]
  • Faculty Participation [19:18]
  • Success Stories [22:15]
  • What’s Ahead for Research at OU [26:37]
  • Advice for High Schoolers [29:00]
  • Closing Thoughts [33:01]

Our Guest: Professor Graeme Harper is the Dean of the Oakland University Honors College, Rochester, Michigan. Dean Harper received the Bachelor of Arts degrees in History, English, Economic History from the University of Sydney. He then earned her Master of Letters from the University of New England (AU), PhD in Creative Arts from University of Technology Sydney. Dean Harper also received a PhD in from the School of English and American Studies from the University of East Anglia (UK).

Memorable Quote: “ I tell people to do this all the time. And I probably got professors out there that, you know, wonder why they're getting these emails. But I tell people to email, go on to a university website and email a professor that looks interesting and say, “I like your research. Can you talk about it to me? Can you tell me what you do?” Prof. Graeme Harper to Students.

Episode Transcript: Please visit Episode’s Transcript.

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Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

<Start Snippet> Graeme H  0:14  

Faculty and undergraduate research and new researchers have a moment where it all makes sense about why people do this, you know, there's sort of this moment of wow. And it won't come immediately for some folks. And even for people that go through PhDs, it doesn't necessarily arrive at that point. But at some point, there's that moment of, Oh gee, this is actually how humans create understanding. And when that happens, and you've got this sort of sense of a passion for that research is just part of your daily life.

Venkat  0:53  [Introducing Dean Graeme Harper, OU Honors College]

That is Graeme Harper, Dean of Oakland University Honors College, in Rochester, Michigan.

Hello, I am your host, Venkat Raman.

Dean Graeme Harper is no stranger to creativity. He is a writer with dozens of Fiction and Non-fiction books to his credit.

He did not do any research as an undergraduate in Australia.

Research in a true sense began for him as a Graduate Student and has been passionate about it since.

Today, Dean Harper and his team have embedded UG Research into the Honors College Program.

Venkat Raman  1:36

Dean Harper joins us on our podcast to talk about UG Research at Oakland University Honors College, CUR’s role, Impact of Research on Students, success stories, and the advice for high schoolers.

Before we jump into the podcast, here are the Hi-Fives,  Five Highlights from the podcast:

Graeme H  2:08  [Highlights - Hi Fives]

[CUR]

CUR is the oldest organization in that respect, you know, an older elder organization, and you'll find in Britain, which launched a British count conference and undergraduate research in 2010. And Australia launched a similar thing in 2010. So about 1012 years ago. And I say that because when you were an undergraduate in Australia, or indeed in Britain, even though in the British context, for example, you were doing honors, that you were doing research wasn't particularly strong.

[Research & UG Students]

It's a misnomer, really to to look at undergraduates and say, well, you're too young, you're too inexperienced. You know, these notions that people can only actually be, you know, intellectually developed enough to do research, after they've been undergraduate seems to me kind of crazy, because there's no evidence suggests somebody can't be a world class researcher.

[Faculty Participation]

It's miraculous how faculty commit themselves and find time. I mean, you know, many of the times this is not something that's calculated into a workload model or model of service or anything like that. It is literally done because they're passionate about supporting students.

 

[Success Stories]

As a couple of students, more than a couple of students working on safety measures for electric scooters, which is really interesting. You know, you see a lot of campuses having a scooters on campuses, kind of people jump on them and go all over the place. And it's interesting now you've got students doing research projects, on safety and so forth with that.

[Advice for High Schoolers]

You know, start with curiosity. And I'd start with empathy. So curiosity because the researcher is never a good researcher unless they're perpetually curious. And empathy in the sense that research often involves working with others.

Venkat Raman  3:57

These were the Hi5s, brought to you by “College Matters. Alma Matters.”

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Venkat Raman  4:11

Now, I'm sure you want to hear the entire podcast with Dean Harper.

So without further ado, here is Dean Graeme Harper!

-----------------

Venkat Raman  4:20  

If you're ready, we can jump into it.

Graeme H  4:23  

Absolutely, yeah. Good.

Venkat Raman  4:26  

Cool. So maybe the best place to start is your background. Give us a little bit of a feel for you know, your experience and what you've sort of been working on.

Graeme H  4:39  [Professional Background]

So I arrived at Oakland in 2011, but I hadn't really been full time or indeed permanent in the United States. So I'd really been working in Britain, familiar 20 years. And, you know, many ways. That also was strange because I'd grown up in Australia. So in effect My great well undergraduate and graduate education, the first stages of it occurred in Australia where I did a doctorate at the University of Technology in Sydney. And then I went to University of East Anglia, in Britain to do a second doctorate, because education was indeed an obsession. I've already completed a master's through research at the University of New England, in Australia. So, you know, for those who have an interest in research, clearly, I've been somewhat fanatical. Interestingly, though, you know, I really work in creative fields, writing some new technology fields, and so on. So, in the traditional sense of research, I guess I'm not the most obvious person, but I think in many ways, I thought I would head and I actually began to hit in the direction of in the British context of looking to be a vice chancellor type. Pro Vice Chancellor of Research, I thought, that's what I do at the sort of top of my career, I'd be a Pro Vice Chancellor, or in the American Center, vice president of research. But I realized that the clue to clue to strong research at a graduate and faculty level actually began an undergraduate level, and I really missed working with undergraduates. So that's the professional background that got me to being a passionate advocate for and indeed, participant in supporting undergraduate research, I really thought, this is where the action is, you know, this is where you build world class researchers. So you know that that's been a global obsession. And when I arrived here, I got involved in the Council of undergraduate research, and now I'm chair of the large division and, and, indeed, just as passionate as ever about undergraduate research.

Venkat Raman  6:49  

So how has undergraduate research sort of touched you personally? I mean, as in your own background, how, in what ways did it manifest?

Graeme H  6:59  [Personal Impact of UG Research]

So I think it's interesting globally that, you know, CUR is the oldest organization in that respect. Yeah. older, older organ organization. And you'll find in Britain, which launched a British count conference on undergraduate research in 2010. And Australia launched a similar thing in 2010, so about 10-12 years ago. And I say that because when you were an undergraduate in Australia, or indeed, in Britain, even though in the British context, for example, you were doing honors, that you were doing research wasn't particularly strong. And certainly, I didn't do anything other than a course based research with, you know, the sort of thing you do as a project. particular course, in Australia, when I was an undergraduate, it just wasn't, you didn't discuss the idea of researchers call you were doing a class and did your research for a paper. So it wasn't really until I became a graduate a master student, that I was thinking that I was doing research. So I find that really remarkable that we're so strong in the United States on this and that we've actually taken the lead globally on this, and that ultimately, it should, and I'm pretty sure it does build build stronger researchers. But indeed, my own background was really not really research focused until my graduate study.

Venkat Raman  8:20  

Now, how do you think now that you've seen it up close with undergraduate students? How do you think it's impacting them? How does it benefit?

Graeme H  8:28  [Research & UG Students]

Yeah, it's a great, great question, Venkat. I think, you know, I think there's an element there of independence and empowerment, and agency that comes along with it. So it's a misnomer, really to, to look at undergraduates and say, well, you're too young, you're too inexperienced, you know, these notions that people can only actually be, you know, intellectually developed enough to do research, after they've been undergraduate seems to me kind of crazy, because there's no evidence suggests somebody can't be a world class researcher, and from the moment they begin to see research is something they enjoy. So I see that as part of it, I also see agency as part of it, you begin to realize that you can help not just participate in the field that you're interested in, but kind of shape it as well. And you can start that, you know, as an undergraduate, and that, that that that suggests, you know, a higher education system that powers and encourages human agency. So that excites me. I mean, the idea is that you can get involved the idea is that you can contribute. That doesn't suggest everybody is a world class researcher from the moment but it certainly suggests that there is no reason why somebody as an undergraduate cannot be a research participant, and even somebody who takes their field forward as a researcher. And that that, to me is a is a wonderful way of, you know, looking at equity in in the way in which we have education on campus. So, as I say, all those great things Come back to undergraduate research.

Venkat Raman  10:05  

So, tell us tell us a little bit about your role as the Dean of Honors College. And then we can sort of dive into some more details.

Graeme H  10:15  [Dean Harper’s Role]

So Oakland's Honors College is it's quite an older one. I mean, the institution itself was founded in 1957. And very interestingly, it was founded with the input of the world's first and was the world's first Honors College, which was at Michigan State University. So in 1956, a group of a small group of students was asked to was asked to suggest what a what a university would look like a branch of Michigan State would look like if they had had a choice. And they were actually students of the first honors college in the nation, which was at Michigan State. So that that was 1957. And then in 1977, Oakland University itself, started an Honors College on the basis that, in a sense, it felt like it wanted to hold on to that tradition of having come from a background where honors and the idea of participating with professors one to one, you know, the kind of idea that you weren't in a class and separated from, you know, professors at a certain point in their careers, you're connected with senior professors was very much in the DNA of Oakland University when it was a branch campus at Michigan State. So when I came here, in 2011, I found a reasonably small Honors College, around 400 students and realized that actually, we could do a lot to build, and we started to build and it's about 2300 students now, every major, every major, and therefore every kind of research, as you can imagine, there are people that write short stories, and there are people that, you know, hang out in biology labs, and there are people that go out into the community and do health science research, and so on, so on. But yeah, it's it's a great group of folks that I work with, we're not a big staff, but very passionate. We've got advising that's specific to the students in the Honors College. The honors college students don't do any extra work as such. They're there on their on his thesis, they're on his research, is what they would do back in their own majors, but we just have it approved as an honors project, and we go through a process to actually fund it and make it a bit stronger. And these days, we're coming up to about 300 graduates a year, in the coming year, I guess we'll get to that level. So that 2300 students, and I guess in 2223, will be about 300 graduates. So it's not just ginormous, it's big, but not the biggest thing. But it's big enough to be a critical mass on campus. So that 15% of the Oakland University undergraduate group is is an Honors College student.

Venkat Raman  12:49  

How is, how is CUR helping you with undergraduate research at Oakland or at Honors College? And what kind of resources and infrastructure and whatever else they're providing? Or how are they helping you?

Graeme H  13:05  [CUR’s Role]

Well, I got this involved as interest enhanced, enhanced institutional members to use the accurate term. I think maybe three years ago, now, we were some years ago, just independent individual members. So I looked around campus. And really back in about 2012-2013, there were only a handful of current members on individual memberships. And then we started to sort of connect a little bit more, we were going to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, but there wasn't a lot of us. And I thought, well, we launched a thing that we call the Midwest Center for Undergraduate Research to be a bit bold about it, actually, I mean, it was a bold thing to say that we were doing, but we wanted to say let's get a hub hub together that actually encourages more undergraduate research. And we launched that. And then we said, well, we should at that point, the institutional members and we became enhanced institutional members, which means that anybody on campus can be a member, including obviously, students, I think we're up up above the 100 person, Mark, that it doesn't cost anybody, anything to do that once somebody's paying in the honest colleges, for future years paying the enhanced membership, and it means anybody can draw on those resources on curved curves website. So you've got all those elements of potential summer research programs that students can access on the website. But they can also connect with other people, which which is important for researchers, of course, to connect with other people in your field. The faculty can connect in the different career groups, we've got a couple of people now that are on the at large Council, a group so their counselors at large and therefore are taking a role in the leadership of the large division, which is I think, around 1400 People these days. And we're able to sort of bring back information and frankly, I kind of reach out to the current national office with questions now and then when I when I think well who will know the answer to these questions, and most often, it's going to be somebody in the national office. So curse, you know, I think we've got more to do in the sense that letting people know that this is entirely a positive thing that doesn't, it's not going to commit them to anything in particular. I mean, sometimes faculty is so busy that they worry about your time being taken up. But But I say to them, you don't have to do anything. It's just that you can connect and there are resources there. And so we take a lot more people now to the national conference. We also sort of encourage people to look into the career resources if they are interested in getting more information. And as I say, we do quite a few events where we invite people to get involved not just on campus, but but actually say, Well, you can join us, I just actually came out of the diversity, equity and inclusion group about 10 minutes ago. We'd like diversity in undergraduate research, there is an opportunity to bring back to campus information from Korea that can help us diversify what we're doing with the population that engages with research on campus. So there's lots of good stuff. I mean, I think there's an incredibly positive organization.

Venkat Raman  16:21  

Within the campus, then what kind of resources or infrastructure are you providing? For undergraduate research? How and how do you different different students and faculty and mentors take advantage of that.

Graeme H  16:38  [UG Research Infrastructure & Resources]

So there's a number of things. I mean, the Honors College obviously, is specific population where, as I say, getting toward the 15% of the undergraduate population now, we have faculty fellow that works with me, and she actually is terrific and does a lot of work to help support undergraduate research proposal writing, and also she see prestigious scholarship coordinator. So she coordinates advice giving and working with students putting their applications in for things like Fulbright Scholarships, and Rhodes scholarships, and Truman scholarships, and so on. So for the honors college students, that's a immediate resource, both the person and the fact that we're actually very devoted to undergraduate research, because every Honors College student here does a research project or a creative project as their honors college thesis or their honors college senior project. But we sort of try to go beyond that, because one of the things with having the Midwest Center for Undergraduate research based in the Honors College and really sort of encouraging the idea that we're willing to help everybody, we try to run things that other faculty and other students, and staff for that matter, can get involved in as well. So coming out of the Honors College, those those things are happening. Our provost Provost, you know, has a fund that also supports undergraduate research travel, which is also a good thing. And there's some funding through the research office linked to that Provost research fund that students who are not in the Honors College there can be any students can apply for. So there's some central funding, I think we've began to recognize more and more that undergraduate research is one of the strengths of the experience of being an undergraduate at this institution, and many others, frankly. And that we should be looking at what we can do to kind of leverage that to the benefit of the students, but also looking at how that relates to our overall research strategy. So you know, I don't think we always talked about undergraduate research within the broader research strategy. But now we do. And now we've got a supportive president here who recognizes undergraduate research, too. So I think it's profile on campus and our ability to help people get involved in it is stronger than ever. And I think the recognition that it is something that helps people to succeed, really, in their undergraduate studies is really strong now. And as I say, I think we've got a way to go. But I think that that is a really positive sign.

Venkat Raman  19:09  

Was the faculty participation in this? I mean, how, how entrenched are they in the mentorship and other things?

Graeme H  19:18  [Faculty Participation]

Right? Yeah, I mean, I think it's, I think it's miraculous, how faculty commit themselves and find time. I mean, you know, many of the times this is not something that's calculated into a workload model or model of service or anything like that. It is literally done because they're passionate about supporting students, and I think we see this nationally and internationally. Faculty, you know, committing themselves to that kind of work, for no pay and really for the passionate have the passion of having students in their disciplines, who I think a lot of the time those faculty imagine may well go on to grad study or may well, you know, realize or recognize after their undergraduate experience that that subject, that discipline was something that they really enjoyed. And, you know, it came about because they got to get involved in undergraduate research. So the faculty are wonderful. I mean, it's challenging, I think. Resourcing has been challenging. I mean, during the pandemic, over the last few years, it's been even more challenging with people trying to connect with people who may be usually we're just, you know, obviously work with a student in a lab, for example, and then the lab couldn't do, you know, things like that had been even extra challenging the last couple of years. But amazingly, as I say, the faculty's commitment is incredible. And I think that's not always when their students are written into research grants. But sometimes it is, some of the students in the Honors College are also publishing. And often they'll publish in conjunction with a faculty member and some grad students or something like that. It'll be combined publishing team. But again, Faculty of supporting undergraduates being involved in publishing and sometimes even as the first first author in a in an article, it's going to a prestigious journal. So that's, you know, it's obviously going to build the student's potential to go to grad school if they've already published it in the field. So I just find the participation is miraculous. And I know the stress there at times intention, just because, you know, the workload of faculty is already quite quite a lot. But that's great. And I think ultimately, the students benefit from it. Students tend to get to know the faculty really well through that process. During the process. A number of schools engineering is a good example for engineering computer science. You know, they have a strong mentoring mentality. I mean, they're very strong on on mentoring anyway. And some of that's connected with, you know, internships as well. So you do tend to get that notion of mentoring as part of their, in their DNA, really. And they include undergraduate research mentoring as part of that.

Venkat Raman  21:58  

Sounds fantastic.

Venkat Raman  22:03  

Any any interesting, or, you know, vignettes are about research, different kinds of research, maybe something to give us a flavor of the types of things going on?

Graeme H  22:15  [Success Stories]

Yeah, I think this is such a cross section. And it's interesting to think about what people do. And we've been encouraging more team projects of late thinking, many disciplines benefit from that. So you know, interestingly, interested in you this, this year, we do a final senior presentation, I'd say day, but it usually is three or four days. And we did that last week, we did, we did three really full days. Last week, there was a couple of students, more than a couple of students working on safety measures for electric scooters, which is really interesting, you know, you see a lot of campuses, having a scooters on campuses, kind of getting people jump on them and go all over the place. And it's interesting, now you've got students doing research projects, on safety, and so forth with those, and kind of fifth fifth detection and that kind of thing. So you've got a contemporary, I don't know, contemporary campus event, I guess you'd call it leasing terminal campus. And then you've got undergraduate researchers working on projects that actually being funded by companies like Razer I think was one of them, which I think is a reasonably big company in that in that particular area, in terms of shoulders, and, and small vehicles, and so on. Other things that have been super interesting have just be the ways in which people have explored, you know, traditional areas of, of biology, research, chemistry research, but they've done it remotely, which also has been maybe indicative of the way we can develop different research strategies in fields. And not just for undergraduates, you know, this could will really be a way in which research teams build new methodologies in traditional fields of lab research, for example. So we saw quite a bit of that last week with people presenting projects. I'm just trying to think of some ones that actually just stood out beyond that, because it was so many that stood out. I mean, there's so many good projects across all the disciplines. And I think one of the things that actually struck me a business research, for example, sometimes we wonder, what are people going to explore me, I had people in accounting, really doing some confident work on essentially account accounting methods for company performance, and looking at the ways in which you could approach the notion of company performance in areas like the software industry. So looking at models for software performance beyond that purchase of the original software, and then the sort of models companies had for actually leveraging that that consumer use of that software after purchase. And I'd never really thought that through and I thought that's a really interesting project. Other business projects, like we had one working on Argentinian banking, for example, just a culturally specific project. So those have been interesting. The nurse nursing students working On really pragmatic work in nursing and looking at the sort of workloads in nursing and stress in nursing education, for example. I there's there's so many and I think ultimately also say great creative work, where people would use, whether it was filmmaking or indeed, writing or the visual arts to explore areas. If every single discipline was covered last week, there was 167 students, I think, presented over three days. And we had multiple panels, and three of us sort of chairing the panels. And the thing that I would just say, just at this point, is they were so professional, I have been to academic conferences where you had professors running over, running over there. These students stuck to it, they didn't have that long to speak, they had 10 minutes. And they stuck to that time. And they presented professionally. And And again, if we want to talk about the skills that people learn through undergraduate research, I have seen many of our professors that couldn't, couldn't do that. So.

Venkat Raman  26:03  

That's a big plus. I mean, that's also being respectful of other people's time,

Graeme H  26:09  

was Yeah, very much. So.

Venkat Raman  26:12  

No, this is fabulous. I mean, you know, just the fact that they're, you know, you mentioned 167 students, but, you know, the number of projects, the variety of disciplines. And the scope of these projects, too, you know.

Venkat Raman  26:31  

So, so, what's ahead? I mean, what, where would you like this to go?

Graeme H  26:37  [What’s Ahead for Research at OU]

I think that the aspect of undergraduate research that is possible was couple of aspects, I suppose the interconnected, I would say this recognition of it as part of a strategy of developing knowledge generally, hasn't necessarily been there in a way that could be and I would hope that what we're doing now, with more organizations, we've had two global congresses discussing undergraduate research now, of course, one in the Middle East and one in Europe. And I think ultimately, that idea of a global movement to recognize and, you know, again, empower undergraduates to research is part of the world ahead. And I think, you know, obviously, to everybody's benefit. I mean, there's no way in the world that that won't be beneficial official. So that's ahead. And more localized basis, I think, you know, the recognition that undergraduate research is, is a contribution to the research culture, and not a kind of burden on on it. So it's always been that tension between faculty spending time with undergraduates and then having their own research to do. I think there's a better research, it's a better recognition, I should say, now, of the fact that it can be more of a symbiotic relationship. And I think that that seems to me to be lying ahead. I think maybe, again, the question of not just recognition, but a bit more comfort from students who are joining the University with the idea that they would do research. So it won't be such a, you know, sort of unusual thing. It'll be more expected almost, I think that lies ahead. And I think the numbers are going to grow. I think, on the downside, I guess the only thing we have to look at is, how big can the numbers grow, not just an icon, but everywhere, given, you know, given the fact that maybe most students in five years, if not, less, time will be engaging. And that's a lot of people looking for people to mentor and mentor their projects. So there is going to be some discussion about where resources are allocated, I'm sure to make that happen or to help that happen. But that will be ahead as well.

Venkat Raman  28:46  

So what would you tell all these college bound students, the high school students, what kind of skills do you think they need to have or develop, to be able to do undergraduate research?

Graeme H  29:00  [Advice for High Schoolers]

There's some core technical skills, I guess. But I would start with those things that are almost philosophic. And I guess that's my nature, I guess. But I would start with, you know, start with curiosity. And I'd start with empathy. So curiosity, because the researcher is never a good researcher unless they're perpetually curious. And empathy in the sense that research often involves working with others. It also often involves asking people for things or getting involved in things where people have their own needs, and recognizing that's going to be a benefit to everybody. Just you know, you don't get very far if you're a researcher that simply can't see that others have different things going on. Particularly when you get passionate about something, you tend to get very focused. And as I say, not everybody's going to be as focused as that. So those two things, the idea about being curious and empathetic, I think, a core philosophic values, the technical So I really think if you've got a passion for a field and interest in a field, even if it's just one you think you have, getting a bit of a sense of what people do in the research, part of that field needs to be encouraged early, because folks sometimes assume I've seen some students, for example, who started university thinking they may be heading to med school, and then they get into a biology class and, or a biochemistry class and, and that's going to be some part of your of your pre med training, even if it's not, not all of it. And they decide they don't much like the lab, the lab approach, and they don't much like the lab environment. Well, you know, just getting used to what some of the fields that you might have an interest in, could draw on. Being confident than anything, anything can be researched, frankly, I mean, we sometimes get the creative students saying, Well, how will I do a research project? You know, in graphic design? Well, no problem. I mean, it's really about new knowledge creation and the methods by which you create that new knowledge. Vast, you don't have to think of it in a very narrow sense. So again, I would be always a college bound student, I'd say, Okay, what is the new knowledge I'm interested in? I'm interested in engineering, what is the what is the new knowledge? I'd like to see, you know, and how do they go about doing that. And then the other thing, I suppose is, I would reach out, I tell people to do this all the time. And it probably got professors out there that, you know, wonder why they're getting these emails, but I tell people to go onto a university website and email a professor that looks interesting and say, I like your research. Can you talk about it to me, you tell me what you do. You're just really open and just say, tell me more about what you do. Because often, I think, students, you know, even students that are already at university are a bit wary, or feel a bit shy about reaching out to faculty, and actually faculty very much like, people who are interested in their research. So yeah, so I would say reach out, that's, that's the final thing I'd say is reach out to two interesting professors, and do it all over the place. And if you don't get a reply, you don't get a reply. I mean, the worst thing that can happen is somebody who's gonna say, I don't want to talk to you, but But usually, I think you'll be people will be flattered, especially if you go onto their website and happen to notice an article and open it up and read a little bit of it. And even if you don't fully grasp the whole article, and some of the fields are quite, you know, obviously specialized. Just the fact that you've had a look at their research and kind of have an interest is going to appeal to that professor and, and then you've got a link, you've got somebody who may actually be a professor you work with when you actually get to college. So it's good on every front.

Venkat Raman  32:47  

So Graeme, we're gonna start winding down any closing thoughts for budding researchers or faculty or to the fraternity at large?

Graeme H  33:01  [Closing Thoughts]

I think in faculty and undergraduate research, and new researchers have a moment where it all makes sense about why people do this, you know, this sort of this moment of wow. And it won't come immediately for some folks. And even for people that go through PhDs, it doesn't necessarily arrive at that point. But at some point, there's that moment of oh, gee, this is actually how humans create understanding. And when that happens, and you've got this sort of sense of a passion for that research is just part of your daily life. I mean, you just do it. I mean, unfortunately, you probably drive people crazy in your house occasionally, because you're constantly curious, you know, constantly wanting to know more. But it is a moment when you realize that even if you're not doing it 24/7 You are in fact a researcher, and you will always be a researcher. And that's a good thing. I think that's a good thing.

Venkat Raman  33:55  

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, you did the two PhDs. So you're a super researcher there. So Graeme, this has been fascinating. Thank you so much for taking the time and talking about research in general and research at Auckland University and the Honors College. I'm sure we'll talk more but for right now. Take care. Be safe. Thank you so much.

Graeme H  34:19  

Thank you. Nice to talk to you.

Venkat Raman  34:21  

Likewise. Bye

--------------------

Venkat  34:28 

Hi again!

Hope you enjoyed our podcast with Dean Graeme Harper of Oakland University Honors College about Undergraduate Research.

Specifically, Dean Harper covered:

  • UG Research as a power to contribute to one or more disciplines;
  • UG Research as an integral part of the Honors College Program;
  • Student Success Stories;
  • Finally, advice to high schoolers on the skills needed to do research

I hope you pursue research during your undergraduate years and explore Oakland University for your undergraduate studies.

For your questions or comments on this podcast, please email podcast at almamatters.io [podcast@almamatters.io].

Thank you all so much for listening to our podcast today.

Transcripts for this podcast and previous podcasts are on almamatters.io forward slash podcasts [almamatters.io/podcasts].

To stay connected with us, Subscribe to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit anchor.fm forward slash almamatters [anchor.fm/almamatters] to check us out.

Till we meet again, take care and be safe.

Thank you!

Summary Keywords

Podcast for High Schoolers, College Majors, US Colleges, College Podcast, Undergraduate Research Podcast, UG Research Podcast, High School Students, College-bound UG Research, undergraduate research, Oakland University, Oakland University Honors College, Michigan.


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