The purpose of our university is not the acquisition of knowledge, but the search for deeper knowing. Rather than imagine your education as downloading information or facts, reimagine your education as a process of seeking, questioning, probing, arguing, and creating. The primary responsibilities of faculty are to research, teach, and guide students. The primary responsibilities of students are to learn how to learn and to continue this quest for the rest of their lives. Faculty are primarily involved in the search for and creation of new knowledge, but faculty invite students to join with them to learn methods and approaches. After engaging in research with faculty supervision, students may dream up their own questions and create their own projects. In these ways, students chart their own paths toward original questions and deeper knowing. To find out ways that you can participate in undergraduate research, please refer to the following chart.
Students explore research methods through an introductory course to a field of knowledge (for example, ENGL-090, FMST-100, JUPS-202, PSYC-002, or SOCI-201)
Join a Project
Students join with faculty in a research project, serving as research assistants via GUROP.
Start your Own
Students propose their own original research projects, seeking summer fellowship funding via Davis, Kalorama, Raines, Andretta, GUROP, etc.
Present your Findings
Students bring back their summer research and develop this material into a thesis, capstone, or independent project in the senior year. Students present their research via on-campus symposia (including the College Academic Council Research Colloquium in the spring) and off-campus conferences (supported by PURPAS grants).
Expand on the Experience
Students use their undergraduate research projects as stepping stones to further research, creative projects, fellowships, jobs, graduate study, public service, etc.
Keep Asking Questions
Continue to ask questions and pursue deeper knowing as key activities in lives of purpose.
Solveig Baylor (C’22) won second place at the inaugural Big East Research Symposium, an event designed to highlight the value of undergraduate research, for her project titled, “Women’s Autonomy and Inheritance Law in India.”
As part of the Figge Fellows Program, Colleen Baer (C’22) is researching the impact of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis on the challenges of peace making in Northern Ireland. Though peace negotiations in the 1990s led to the successful signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the process of reconciliation has taken much longer and is still ongoing.
Ethan Fan (C’24), Katie Hawkinson (C’23) and Zega Ras-Work (C’23) were three of the four College undergraduates selected as this year’s student analysts for the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation. The program is an immersive learning experience in social impact that provides paid fellowships to students. In addition to working at the Beeck Center, student analysts engage in a curriculum of workshops, dialogues and team-building activities.
Estefania Acosta (C’23) is conducting research on Colombia for States and Institutions of Governance in Latin America (SIGLA), a multilingual database on legal and political institutions in Latin America. This database is one of the few that provides systematic and clear information on Latin American government, laws, or institutions, which Acosta says has led to challenges as an RA but also underscores the importance of the research.