More than 25 percent of WSU undergraduates are engaged in research, but the university isn’t stopping there. “We feel it’s important to provide our students with these chances and for them to be involved as more than just observers. It’s part of our WSU goal of providing the best undergraduate experience at a research university,” said David Bahr, director of Undergraduate Research, a core unit in the Office of Undergraduate Education.
In order to explore and emphasize undergraduate research potential, a group of 12 professors, including five with affiliations with the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), have formed the university’s first Undergraduate Research Faculty Council.
“We are counting on the members to help us define ‘what is research?’ in terms of the undergraduate experience at WSU,” said Bahr.
Bahr, an associate professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in the College of Engineering and Architecture (CEA), chairs the group. Members of the council include:
Wendy Brown, Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine; Lori Carris, Plant Pathology, CAHNRS; Andrew Duff, Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts (CLA); Kip Findley, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, CEA; Tim Freson, Health and Wellness Services, College of Education; Andrew Jorgenson, Sociology, CLA; Brian Lamb, Civil and Environmental Engineering, CEA; Laura Corley Lavine, Entomology, CAHNRS; John McNamara, Animal Sciences, CAHNRS; Mark Nelson, Animal Sciences, CAHNRS; Mike Skinner, Center for Integrated Biotechnology and Center for Reproductive Biology, College of Sciences; and David Whidbee, Finance, College of Business.
The Undergraduate Research team commenced work in fall 2006 with a charge to help organize the activity on campus, and to promote opportunities for students to engage in meaningful research and creative and scholarly activities with faculty as mentors and partners. Freshmen should be exposed to such opportunities as early in their academic careers as possible, said Bahr.
But, what is the true nature of research? “Research isn’t just something done in a lab coat,” Bahr said. Research is “creating and discovering. It is the faculty and students creating new knowledge. It happens in classrooms, labs, field studies, libraries, and beyond.” Helping to define research and creative and scholarly activities in a variety of disciplines will be part of the council’s charge.
Bahr also notes that faculty members interested in the council and its work are invited to contact him (509-335-8523).
Get your research on:
check out these videos about research going on right now at WSU.
Something bugging you? Then you’d better check out what’s going on in our Entomology Museum!
A lot of the world-class plant-science research (read all about it) at WSU happens in our new $39 million Plant Biosciences Building.