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Episode Notes | Transcript | AskTheGuest

Episode Notes

Episode Title: Jeanne and Lindsay on CUR: UG Research is Transformative & Changes Career Trajectory.

Jeanne Mekolichick, President of Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), Associate Provost and Professor of Sociology at Radford University, and Lindsay Currie, Executive Officer for CUR.

Jeanne and Lindsay talk about Why UG Research is transformative, the role CUR plays in nurturing and expanding UG Research, the services it provides to College and Students and How to prepare to do research in college.

In particular, we discuss the following with them:

  • Jeanne & Lindsay’s Professional Background
  • What is CUR?
  • The Transformative Nature of UG Research
  • How CUR helps Colleges & Students

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Introducing Jeanne & Lindsay, CUR [0:40]
  • Backgrounds [2:47]
  • Why UG Research? [7:04]
  • What is CUR? [10:25]
  • Why Universities are Members? [12:26]
  • How well is CUR working? [14:26]
  • Jeanne’s take on CUR [16:50]
  • Students & CUR  [19:34]
  • Community Colleges Participation [22:20]
  • Success Stories [24:01]
  • Measure of Success [28:08]
  • What’s Next for CUR? [32:00]
  • Advice for High Schoolers [36:27]
  • Selecting Colleges for Research [39:58]

Our Guests: 

Memorable Quote: “And they are just open calls for an hour where anybody in our community can reach out to us and say they have this problem or concept that they want to get others in, in the undergraduate research community to come and tackle with them and talk about their experiences.” Lindsay Currie about CUR.

Episode Transcript: Please visit Episode’s Transcript.


Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

<Start Snippet> Jeanne  0:14  

In thinking about how we're defining research and creative scholarship, I think it's important to expand our definition to think about applied work, community based work, clinical work. Also in that bucket of research where the terminal degrees aren't necessarily PhDs, right.

Venkat  0:40  [Introducing Jeanne M, Lindsay C of CUR]

That is Professor Jeanne Mekolichick, the president of the Council on UG Research, CUR for short.

Hello, I am your host, Venkat Raman.

CUR was founded in 1978 as a forum to share faculty research done at liberal arts colleges in collaboration with students.

CUR has since grown into a vibrant organization with over 1000 institutional members, 14,000 individual members with rich programs and resources to build a strong undergraduate research community and serve undergraduate students.

On this podcast, we are honored to have Jeanne Mekolichick, President of CUR, Associate Provost and Professor of Sociology at Radford University, and Lindsay Currie, Executive Officer for CUR.

Jeanne and Lindsay talk about Why UG Research is transformative, the role CUR plays in nurturing and expanding UG Research, the services it provides to College and Students and How to prepare to do research in college.

So, without further ado, here are Jeanne and Lindsay.


Venkat Raman  2:04  

First of all, welcome to our podcast, College Matters. Alma Matters.

Jean Lindsay, great to have you and wanted to talk about the Council on Undergraduate Research today. So thank you so much for making the time.

Lindsay  2:19  

It's our pleasure. Thank you for having us. Yes. Delighted to be here.

Venkat Raman  2:24  

Absolutely. Thank you. So maybe we can kick it off with some introductions. Maybe each of you can talk a little bit about your backgrounds, and then your roles with the Council on Undergraduate Research. Maybe we can start there.

Lindsay  2:42  

Sounds good.

Venkat Raman  2:44  

Cool. Whoever wants to go first, may.., Lindsay, you want to go first?

Lindsay  2:47  [Backgrounds]

Sure. So my name is Lindsay Currie, and I am the Executive Officer at the Council on Undergraduate Research. I have the pleasure of kind of running the day to day operations of the organization and have been with the organization on and off over the last decade, but have been in the Executive Officer role for the last two years. And I am an association professional but had the opportunity. When I was an undergraduate to participate in undergraduate research opportunities in history and archaeology and really enjoyed those experiences. They certainly helped shaped my career trajectory. And so it was a pleasure when I got to come and work with her on a mission that I really believed in and had already benefited from as an undergraduate myself.

Venkat Raman  3:48  


Jeanne  3:50  

Sure. My pleasure. Thanks so much for having us here. Sure. I am Jeanne Mekolichick I'm a professor of sociology currently served as associate provost of academic programs at Radford University in Virginia. In this role, I provide senior level leadership and direction for experiential education, academic support and strategic initiatives. Relative to CUR I've been involved since 2005. When I attended an institute I became a counselor in 2006. In my time, I've served as chair of the Social Science Division Institute facilitator, facilitator. I've been an key board member and I am currently serving as president.

Venkat Raman  4:41  

Awesome, awesome. Maybe Jeanne, we can start with a little bit about your interest in research, social science research, and then we can weave into the CUR.

Jeanne  4:56  

That'd be great. So my interest in social Science Research. It's it's fun that you asked that because I haven't been asked that a long, long time. Yeah, you know, I've always been interested in people and cultures and systems. I love complexity, and understanding how and why things work and how they advance and change. And so that brought me to sociology as an undergrad. And I got involved in undergraduate research, because a faculty member that I really liked was was teaching research methods, which I loved, which most students love less. He, I didn't really know his first generation college student, I really didn't know what undergraduate research was, but I liked him. I liked the class. And he said, Anyone interested, you know, I'm working on this project, come see me. So I did. And, like Lindsay, my experience working with him in undergraduate research altered profoundly the trajectory of my career, my life, putting me on the path to graduate school, the professor it and ultimately, you know, higher education, administer administrator where I am now. You know, and then in the spirit of, you know, giving back to the things that have nurtured and shaped you, as a faculty member, began embedding undergraduate research in my courses, mentoring students and their projects, inviting them to my team, I engaged in community based research started a local research center. And that, you know, in part brought me to CUR.

Venkat Raman  6:54  

So, I'm going to ask each one of you this question, why do you think undergraduate research is so important? So maybe, Jeanne you could answer first and then I could have Lindsay talk?

Jeanne  7:04  [Why UG Research?]

Sure. So I think it's on several levels, I'll start with Big: It transforms society, right. So because we have students invested in the challenging problems of our time, things that are affecting them, things that they're concerned about, and they see relevance in, they get engaged, lowering those questions, it taps into their curiosity, and they're giving back to their community and advancing society.

Jeanne  7:41  

If we go a little bit smaller, right? All the you know, technical pieces of the value, you know, communication, critical thinking, teamwork, career and self development, pieces, literacy, leadership, professionalism. There's a lot of skills, relevant and critical skills for the workplace and life that get cultivated through the process of engaging in undergraduate research. So I think personal, professional, and societal value is gained through the process and the products.

Venkat Raman  8:22  

Lindsay, what would you say?

Lindsay  8:23  

Start, Certainly. So it's interesting as Jeanne kind of experienced with undergraduate research, it prompted her to buy in more to what she was doing. And mine actually kind of shifted me to understanding that it was not the right career trajectory for me, which is also equally, if not more valuable, right.

Lindsay  8:49  

And so for me, you know, but what I did get out of it is this idea that you have these these skills to question things, to learn how to collaborate to, to figure out how to communicate in a multitude of directions at many levels in a thoughtfully and effective way.

Lindsay  9:12  

I think these skills that that are gained, that increase the self confidence that increase the nimbleness of these individuals that are going to face these unexpected obstacles, you know, for the rest of their, their existence as humans, but in the workplace, and in society, those skills to learn them kind of in a safe environment, right or a structured environment is incredibly valuable.

Lindsay  9:39  

I think it benefits us immensely as a society to have a collection of individuals that can challenge things and can question things in a thoughtful way and understand how pieces of programs and projects fit together. And that there's different roles and responsibilities for things are immensely valuable, and I think result in kind of enriched communities when they participate.

Venkat Raman  10:16  

So with that kind of backdrop, Lindsay, maybe you could start off with telling us what is the Council on Undergraduate Research? What does it do?

Lindsay  10:25  [What is CUR?]

Certainly. So we are a membership organization we support, you know, approximately 14,000, faculty, administrators, mentors, partners, and undergraduate research and about 1000 academic institutions are represented in that group, and affiliate organizations that align with our mission and vision, which is that we can enrich advanced society through undergraduate research, scholarship and creative inquiry, right, and that our job as the Council is to really support and promote high quality mentored undergraduate research experiences. And we do this through professional development for faculty and mentors. We do it through you know, publications, and, and sharing models and samples of best practices. We do this through presentation opportunities for students, along with sharing research opportunities, and some resource centers, like how to build resumes, and networking tips. And really this kind of combination of training for those that are providing the research opportunities, and then supporting of the students that are presenting in in those, along with another arm of what Kurt does, is really advocating more broadly beyond beyond our members, so with, you know, the federal government, with partnering agencies, with other organizations about the value of undergraduate research, and providing them with the information about how it can be transformative for students.

Venkat Raman  12:14  

What's in it for the universities to be members? Why are they part of this organization? What are you, What do you think is the key value or values that you might bring to the table?

Lindsay  12:26  [Why Universities are Members?]

Certainly, I think one is to indicate they are aligned with our mission, right? So say, making a public statement about how important they believe undergraduate research is, but it is also we provide and facilitate a community of sharing of experiences, models and samples, right? That would be hard to just create in your campus bubble on its own. Right. So they are they are able to then create networks across campuses, to tap into other expertise, find out what's working, share issues and come up with community based solutions to those, you know, amongst a community that believes undergraduate research is is so transformative.

Venkat Raman  13:22  

Oh, that really sounds great. Now, is it, Is it the case that for a particular college or university, there'll be only one professor or faculty member representing or is it a group? Or how's it on a per college basis?

Lindsay  13:37  

Sure, there's a multitude of ways that folks can get engaged, it can be on that individual basis. It can be on a campus wide basis. So we do have a membership type where if an entire campus purchases, that membership that anybody, any student faculty administrator can benefit from those career memberships. And we have several 100 campuses that do that each year.

Venkat Raman  14:03  

You did mention a set of programs or activities that the Corps offers, right, all the way from mentorship to different kinds of resources. Now, how how are these working? I mean, how you know what works more, what works less, maybe some examples of what might have worked better than others?

Lindsay  14:26  [How well is CUR working?]

Well, it's interesting, I would say, you know, in our current climate in person isn't working particularly well. But it has been a very valuable part of our community. And we're certainly looking forward to getting back to some of that, but I will say what we have been the silver lining of our current situation is it has made us reevaluate how we make things accessible in a virtual environment. And it has allowed us to really support a much broader community of folks that maybe didn't know Have the travel funds or the time to access some of our in person education or professional development opportunities. And we are now working on some strategies to have multimodal engagement training, even after we are safe to be in person, because there will be folks that can't always travel. And so we are looking to ensure that we can really service the whole community. And so I think what we have found is, is really there's there's not too much that isn't working well, the folks are really hungry for this information. They want the support, they want the guidance from those that have gone through the processes before. But mostly, I think one of the things that has been that light for us is we started a program called Kerr conversations. And they are just open calls for an hour where anybody in our in our community can reach out to us and say they have this this problem or concept that they want to get others in, in the undergraduate research community to come and tackle with them and talk about their experiences. So that's not a structured program, right? We don't know what the end learning outcomes are going to be. But they're really supported by their community to come and solve these problems together.

Venkat Raman  16:28  

You know, I wanted to ask Jeanne since Jeanne, you've been sort of in a position of consuming or receiving, or a customer of all this as well, right, since what did you say? 2005? So I thought it'd be interesting to get your perspective on how you found CUR and what how it has benefited you and maybe Radford.

Jeanne  16:50  [Jeanne’s take on CUR]

Right, excellent. Thank you so much for asking. It also has been transformative. For me personally and professionally. The I think the most profound piece, and Lindsay kind of touched on it is that network and relationships across folks who are so focused on the mission of CUR, the pedagogy, the mentoring, the advancement of our students and supporting one another through that. So I've participated in just about all the activities that Lindsay had shared over many years I've been involved. And I think the thread has been the the people that I have learned from an engaged with, and some who've moved on from CUR that I continue to go back to, as I would say, my most trusted mentors and colleagues who continue to support me as I'm supporting undergraduate research in different kinds of ways in the different roles that I've had at my institution. So I think the flexibility of the organization, in supporting directly the students, for example, with NCUR, which is the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, these conversations for faculty, the resources, the materials, folks are just so very giving and supportive. As well as at the department level. I served as chair of sociology here for a time. And we used undergraduate research into our curriculum and I heavily on my current colleagues to advance that work, as well as building our Office of Undergraduate research and scholarship at Radford advancing the tentacles out to all of our colleges. We have a transcript designation, we have really institutionalized undergraduate research. And my connections of the colleagues and the network, and resources of CUR have really been instrumental in advancing all of that work and all of the different roles within which I've served.

Venkat Raman  19:17  

You know, so how do the students participate in this? How, how are they sort of involved? Do they directly deal with CUR or is it through the colleges and institutions?

Lindsay  19:34  [Students & CUR]

It's a combination of those opportunities, right? I think it depends upon the campus that that they're currently sitting at. But we have several student focused programs where students can come and present their research and also have some programmatic elements that include resume building or networking. Tips or presentation guides. So Jeannne referenced the National Conference on Undergraduate Research which takes place each spring. And that's approximately 4000 students each year common present across all academic disciplines in a multitude of formats, right.

Lindsay  20:21  

We have the research experiences for undergraduates program, which takes place each fall where students from participating in summer research programs funded through NSF come and present their research to each other, and to their program officers from the nat... National Science Foundation.

Lindsay  20:42  

Then we have a program called Posters on the Hill, it's certainly one of my favorite pieces where students come and present to their representatives in Congress talking about the value of undergraduate research and its experience to them and why it's so important that this be recognized and funded at the federal level. So those are some, you know, direct engagement opportunities for sure.

Lindsay  21:15  

We also have a student resource center that is accessible to to anyone on our website that includes some tools, again, that that tie to those in person events, but make it accessible for students that maybe haven't gotten to the place where they're ready to present yet or, or are presenting in other areas. So presentation guidelines, how to build their resume or CV networking tips. So really hands on pieces that will will help them.

Lindsay  21:51  

And then we have you know, that more kind of indirect engagement where we're providing that training and resources for their members.

Venkat Raman  22:02  

As you were talking, I was just thinking of community colleges, are they part of this network are? Where does that in the scheme of things, and those students, you know, who may not have through their community colleges access to research on their campuses? Is that something that's part of the network today or not?

Lindsay  22:20  [Community Colleges Participation]

Yeah, so we do certainly have a handful of community college members. And there's a lot of opportunity for collaboration across different campus types. So NCUR, I think is a great example. The host campuses the last few years often are partnering with our local community colleges to provide specific calls to action for those those students right or or partnerships on presentation opportunities for those students. We also have research opportunities listings, where there's students at community colleges that do research on other campuses, or we've seen certainly in our network collaborations happen across campuses, based on you know, folks meeting through CUR or trying to provide research opportunities for their students. CUR also participated. I guess it was two years ago, the American Association of Community Colleges actually held a summit on undergraduate research. And CUR was a participant there on kind of the growing trend of, of offering undergraduate research opportunities at community colleges and where there's opportunities for collaboration. So there's a lot of work definitely being done in that space.

Venkat Raman  23:48  

Now, between the two of you, are there stories or vignettes that you could share, about a particular research or some student or students, that showcases CUR’s efforts over the years?

Jeanne  24:01  [Success Stories]

I think there's several different ways I'm thinking to answer this right. So one, on the CUR website, we have a number of undergraduate research stories, celebrations in a variety of examples and approaches across the disciplines. So as Lindsay had alluded to earlier, you know, there's a number of ways for students in institutions to engage and undergraduate research to to be enacted. And so some of those are in the curriculum. So courses some of those are one on one mentorship, apprentice type models, some are undergraduate research, experiences as internships. There, at Radford, I can talk about our Highlander Research Rookies program, which is targeted at our first and second year students. So as we are recruiting students to Radford, we are engaging them in their interest in participating in undergraduate research, literally right as they're coming to campus. We work with them on developing a question that may or may not be related to their major and hurt for them with a faculty member for that first year, where they learn about the research process. The process of just discovery, discovery and creative scholarship, work on a project with a faculty member or a team. And they are they're compensated, as well. And like much of what Lindsey had shared about those allied support pieces, developing an elevator pitch, understanding how to translate and hone your skills that both your professors and future employers are going to be interested in relative to communication and teamwork and critical thinking. And we have had students who participated in that their first year came to Radford in part because of that opportunity, have gone on to participate in additional opportunities for undergraduate research. One of my favorite students who just presented he's also in our Honors College presented at National Honors College Association, a couple of weeks ago, really dabbled across the disciplines. So he has done work in metalworking, in jewelry making and medicinal plants. And it has been so valuable and interesting and instructive for us to see how a student has moved so seamlessly through all of these different disciplines, brought them together in new and novel ways. He participated in an REU this past summer, very prestigious RU has had a paper published already. And he hasn't even graduated yet. So I think as like an exemplar of how undergraduate research supports and transforms that only the students but all of us that are engaging with the students, that's one of my favorite examples here locally at Radford.

Venkat Raman  27:51  

No, that's, yeah, that's the kind of vignette it's looking for.

Venkat Raman  27:59  

How often do a lot of these undergraduate researchers go on to do full fledged research, as in, you know, go for PhD programs or graduate programs?

Jeanne  28:08  [Measure of Success]

Right. So that's a really great question. No, I don't know if I have data on that. And and I might, I might want to shift your definition a little bit, right. Sure. Sure. So I'm, in thinking about how we're defining research and creative scholarship. I think it's important to expand our definition to think about applied work, community based work, clinical work. Also, in that bucket of research, where the terminal degrees aren't necessarily PhDs, right? Yeah. And how how so much in society, these skills of critical thinking, data analysis, compiling, communicating, detailed and disciplinary specific information across a broad audience, as well as across a diverse team. I think all of that broader definition. And all of those skills are, are what I like to include in AI as we talk about undergraduate research. Expand that definition. So I know I didn't answer your questions.

Venkat Raman  29:22  

Actually, before before Lindsay before Lindsay jumps in, I just want to say I totally agree with you. I, I think that the whole idea of research is pretty broad and entrepreneurs, for example, data scientists, thanks to COVID You know, data sciences to the fore. There's a lot of things a lot of things which require a detailed analysis, understanding, discovering thing, multiple options, picking one you know, the whole idea of trying to take something nebulous and making it a little more concrete. Right. So yeah, I buy into that. I'm sorry, Lindsay, go ahead.

Lindsay  30:03  

No, no, that's fine, I think to Jane's point right is, as her as evolved, right, we've been around for about 45 years and have expanded into a multidisciplinary organization, right, we started in chemistry and out of the STEM fields and have expanded quite a bit. Undergraduate research as a singular term is not one that all disciplines use. Right. And that is one thing that CUR is is acutely aware of, is making sure that we are using terminology that makes sense for all of the disciplines. So whether it be scholarship or creative activity or creative inquiry, right. And that makes it a little bit more difficult to measure. And then I think people's trajectory after graduation certainly changes. If they're not going initially into a graduate program, they become a lot more difficult to track. But we know some, several people can come back to that in a multitude of ways. But I think to Jim's point, I think what we see is it certainly changing the trajectory of these these students after participation, right, and so certainly is there there the potential for better data collection? Sure. Not an easy thing to do. But I think on each campus, right, the stories that we're hearing and the the information that they're pulling from their graduates that have been participating in these experiences, it is certainly changing their trajectory. But I think we're also seeing a shift not only to kind of that, that next degree being the goal, but different employment opportunities, and their experience when they're in the workplace is changing as a result of their participation.

Venkat Raman  31:53  

What's ahead for CUR? What are you guys looking to get to next?

Jeanne  32:00  [What’s Next for CUR?]

So excellent question. Um, so I think kind of dovetailing on on what we've been talking about really expanding the conversation, and help translating the language across various stakeholders and constituencies, right. So helping with within and between institutions and faculty who, who use terms for their, like creative scholarship, expanding that with research spanning that with community based work. I also think another really important next step, and we've kind of touched on it in a few places here is helping faculty, students and employers think about the positive impacts and benefits of undergraduate research, skills, knowledge, disciplines, or dispositions that are cultivated and honed through the process, how those translate into their next steps. So helping, helping bridge those boundaries, help translate the language, help students tell their stories in ways that potential employers can hear and understand helping faculty to help students hone those skills, career service professionals at institutions, talent, recruiters at employment agencies, helping them all speak the same language to understand the value and impact of undergraduate research and, and scholarship and creative work. We know, you know, within academia and in our disciplines, we're all speaking the same language. Right. And I think those paths are well worn and paved, and I think we are getting traction and having those broader conversations. And I think investing more in those spaces aligning as well with what Lindsay talked about relative to advocacy, connecting federal agencies, partners, entrepreneurs, agencies, the that's on our horizon.

Venkat Raman  34:31  

Sounds great sounds. Lindsay, do you have anything to, you want to add to this?

Lindsay  34:35  

No, I mean, other than you can see how lucky we are to have have Jeanne as our president. Right. But I think it's spot on. I think, you know, my goal certainly is, is we have a group that really believes that undergraduate research, we don't need to convince ourselves any longer that this is a powerful practice. Right. Our goal is to help the those that would benefit from knowing right, about the power of undergraduate research. Understand the verbiage we're using and why they should be looking for it, right. So my goal is if I could get every employer that is looking at resumes to understand when they see a graduate research on somebody's resume, what that means when they're when they're hiring this individual, that would be tremendous, right? Because they're really getting a different kind of individual that again, has that nimbleness and that creative thinking skill that is so difficult to actually teach. Right? And that I know that the workforce needs right now. And so, you know, those are some of the things that we're thinking about us, uh, who are our other allies? Who are other groups across? You know, the association world, the hiring world, you know, who else do we need to advocate to and with? And that is certainly what I think we're looking for in the next few years.

Venkat Raman  36:05  

Before we wind down here, I thought Jeanne would be great if you could say a few words of advice to high school students or college bound students. And in terms of what kind of skills they need to have to be able to do research undergraduate researchers, for starters.

Jeanne  36:27  [Advice for High Schoolers]

Fair! Yeah, um, I've been thinking on this one for a while, right, I think to start on the journey of research, is to be curious, I mean, at the base, that's really it, need a willingness to be open minded, to give your time and attention to learning to be able to, as Lindsay has been saying that nimbleness to work through the frustration, which is part of the process, those creative thinking skills to navigate through the barriers that will that will be in front of us. And so it's, it's those kind of fundamental pieces that will help students be open to those opportunities and, and really be able to take advantage

Venkat Raman  37:26  

do you think these are teachable skills? Or how do you how do you develop these? I guess is the question,

Jeanne  37:33  

I think it's a both and, right. I think if you come in with a curious student, right, or you can tap into their curiosity or things that they care about, and what they see as relevant, you can teach the rest. I often tell stories, I taught research methods for like 20 years. And again, not a class that students are banging down the door to get into it was a requirement. And so it was always an uphill battle, to engage them right, and to get them excited about the work. And that's why I went so quickly to undergraduate research, and had them invested in the projects, right? The students might, you know, I teach at a public comprehensive institution. And so we have a wide swath of students that come to us and the students that come in that are, you know, 3.5, 4.0, you know, honors everything. They're fun, right? They're curious. They're going to be interested in whatever you put in front of them. They will do fine. However, however much we help them or not. Yeah, it's those C students who come into your class and are looking at you a little sideways. And, you know, like, so why am I here and houses relevant to me and my future kind of thing. And to really tap into their curiosity and their values, and cultivate and bring them forward the transformation that you see in those students who sometimes end up being the best researchers. They know how to navigate through challenges were some of those high fliers. It's always been easy, you know. So I think it is, I think it is a matter of pieces of human beings that have existed able to tap into those in a way that's meaningful to them and cultivate that in them.

Venkat Raman  39:42  

Okay, so Jeanne, Lindsay. We are at the end of a podcast but before we sign off, anything else, and each one of you wants to add anything that we may not have talked about or anything you want to emphasize more

Jeanne  39:58  [Selecting Colleges for Research]

I have a few things right, thinking about your audience. Okay, folks who are who are college bound, you know, students and parents who are thinking about and assessing colleges out there. I would encourage them to ask questions as they're on campus or they're engaging with media or you know, so much in the Zoom world these days.

Jeanne  40:24  

To find out how much Undergraduate Research and Creative work is going on at the institutions that they're looking at.

Jeanne  40:36  

And ask about an Office of Undergraduate Research, learn about student clubs or learning communities that may exist.

Jeanne  40:47  

Find out if there are research days or annual symposiums.

Jeanne  40:56  

Find out about the opportunities within courses and one on one opportunities, as well as all the funding kinds of opportunities. You know, the one that I mentioned here at Radford, the Highlander rookies program, we also fund a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program.

Jeanne  41:19  

Are folks using scholarships? Can you use work study at that institution to participate in undergraduate research? Are there campus employment opportunities? Is there funding for student travel?

Jeanne  41:36  

So those are I know, I listed off a number of things. But those I think, would be really great questions for parents and students to ask as they're considering potential institutions.

Venkat Raman  41:52  

No, I think I think that's that's a great point. I mean, basically, what you're saying, you know, make sure that the institution supports undergraduate research in the broad sense, not just with words, but also with action and money.

Venkat Raman  42:09  

So Lindsay, you have the last word.

Lindsay  42:11  

Yeah, no, I think if everybody could just like, cut that last 30 seconds of this interview, and keep replaying it, because I think a lot of what Jeanne just said, right, are words that will be new to students going to college, right? work, study, research, funding, undergraduate research is probably still new to a lot of them, right. And these are words and concepts if they're going into a world that is new and unfamiliar to them. And they're only there for a short time. Right? So recognizing what that language is used at those campuses to be able to leverage those opportunities sooner, right, until instead of waiting till they get to their senior year, and they've just kind of figured out how it works. Right? I wish I had participated in a learning community. I would go back to my alma mater and participate now if I could, right, but I missed that opportunity. Because I just didn't know right has come from, from a background of of, you know, uneducated, college educated parents. They didn't know how the system work, there was nobody guiding me through, right. And so the sooner they can learn some of that institutional language so they can leverage those experiences, I think the better and right, I think that's part of what excited Jean and I have been here is trying to get this information to those students so they can ask those questions and participate sooner, because that, there'll just be more opportunity for them.

Venkat Raman  43:41  

Fabulous. So Jeanne, Lindsay, this has been great. You guys are doing great work. Thank you for all your efforts. And thank you for taking the time and being so generous with your information. Definitely spread this once the podcast is out, spread it out. And more and more students should be doing undergraduate research. So thank you so much. I'm sure we'll talk again.

Jeanne  44:03  

Thank you. Thank you for having us.

Venkat Raman  44:06  

Sure thing. Take care.

Lindsay  44:08  

Thank you. Bye


Venkat  44:16

Hi again!

Hope you enjoyed our podcast with Jeanne and Lindsay on the Council on Undergraduate Research.

A few comments about the podcast:

  • Expanding the meaning of Research to embrace all disciplines and types of work and organizations;
  • Research Transforms student careers;
  • CUR Provides Research framework and resources for colleges and students;
  • During the college selection process Pay special attention to Jeanne’s counsel on colleges that support research

I hope you take a hard look at research during your undergraduate years.

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

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

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

To stay connected with us, Subscribe to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit forward slash 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, High School Students, College-bound UG Research, undergraduate research, Radford University, Sociology, Jeanne Mekolichick, Lindsay Currie.

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