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Jan. 29: Undergraduate research’s transforming power marks topic of WSU Common Reading talk

By Bev Makhani, Office of Undergraduate Education

Pressley Shelley

PULLMAN, Wash. – Shelley Pressley, director of the Washington State University Office of Undergraduate Research, will present “Leveling Up with Undergraduate Research,” 4:10 p.m. Mon., Jan. 29, in CUE, 203.

The lecture, part of the Common Reading Program, has announced is free and open to the public.

The Office of Undergraduate Research advocates helping students undertake research with a mentor — often a faculty member — from the freshman year forward. The experience can transform students’ time and academic experience at WSU, she said. Currently, evidence indicates that 26 percent of WSU seniors have engaged in research.

Undergraduate research is not restricted to scientific laboratories, she said. Students in all majors can participate. Research can include projects that involve scholarly investigations and creative activities.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities has long labeled research a high-impact learning activity for students. The goal of research, it states, is to “involve students in actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions.”

Joining Pressley for the presentation will be several students who are active in research and who serve as peer mentors to others seeking information or are ready to embark on their own work with a mentor.

The presentation is related to the 2017-18 WSU Common Reading book, “Ready Player One,” and the theme of “frontiers of technology, health and society.”

WSU’s Common Reading program began in 2006-07 in Pullman. It helps students, their teachers, and the community better engage in academically centered critical thinking, communication, research, and learning around a body of shared information, as presented in a single, specially selected book.

Students at the event can get verification of attendance and can earn points for the Order of the Crimson Key game. For more information on the game and the program, visit



  • Karen Weathermon, Common Reading Co-director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-5488,

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