Undergraduate research experiences have been provided for decades by individual faculty members across WSU.
To further enrich that effort for students and faculty, professor David Bahr is gathering together many of those programs and facilitating more summer and school-year opportunities.
“We brought together four independent programs for a summer research experience (in 2007),” said Bahr, director of undergraduate research in the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE). “The result is a more vibrant community of scholars.”
Faculty share skills and experience, arrange tours of labs and facilities, and share in conference and poster sessions.
Last summer’s programs were led by seven faculty: Bahr and Kip Findley, mechanical and materials engineering; Behrooz Shirazi and Diane Cook, electrical engineering and computer science; Brian Lamb and Shelley Pressley, atmospheric research; and Matthew McCluskey, physics and astronomy. Another dozen faculty members participated.
Bahr’s involvement with undergraduate research began in 1998 when he established a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at WSU funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This program is ongoing.
The NSF also is funding the Cougar Undergraduate Research Experience, providing 20 freshmen in engineering with a week-long residency in the summer and mentoring during the fall semester of their sophomore year.
Another program for undergraduate researchers is offered by the new Grady and Lillie Auvil Scholarship and Research Fund. The 12 students selected for these $2,500 awards worked during summer under the mentorship of faculty from across WSU.