BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University encourages undergraduate research, which gives students the opportunity to work side by side with their professors on meaningful research or creative endeavors and then present their findings at regional, national and international conferences.
Students have said the experience raises their skills in critical thinking, writing and collecting and analyzing data — while also boosting their confidence and improving their time management and work accountability.
All this can give a leg up in applying to graduate school or seeking employment, according to university officials.
“Student-faculty engagement in research, scholarship and creative expression is a hallmark of the Appalachian undergraduate student experience,” said Provost Darrell Kruger. “These high-impact academic experiences are truly transformational. They prepare our graduates to enter the workforce or graduate school equipped to improve the world.”
Working directly with a faculty mentor “prepares them to hit the ground running in a graduate program, or as a new hire,” said Dr. Susan McCracken, director of career development and economic engagement.
Alumnus Chris Eubanks ’13, who is working on his Ph.D. in chemistry at Duke University, said “having three years of research before coming into a graduate program was very helpful.” The opportunity to apply for grants through Appalachian’s Office of Student Research also helped him develop his scientific writing, he said.
Eubanks and his mentor, Dr. Michael Hambourger in the Department of Chemistry, explored new ways to produce hydrogen for fuel cells.
About Student Research at Appalachian
Appalachian encourages student research, which gives the opportunity to work side by side with professors on meaningful research or creative endeavors and then present findings at regional, national and international conferences. Students who understand how discoveries are made in their chosen fields are well prepared to address the unsolved problems of the future. The Office of Student Research (OSR) was established in 2005 to expand the opportunities, including financial support, for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in research and mentored scholarship at Appalachian. Learn more at http://osr.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.