UW-Whitewater is a university that prides itself on helping its students succeed. From the tutoring services offered on campus to the plethora of student organizations and clubs, there are many resources for students. Among these is the Undergraduate Research Program. This is a program that gives students the chance to do research in their field and the ability to showcase their work at the biannual Undergraduate Research Day, the most recent of which happened on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
“Undergraduate research offers resources for students who want to do projects and research with mentors, faculty members and academic staff here on campus,” said Professor Jalal Nawash, the Director of the Undergraduate Research program.
The purpose of the Undergraduate Research Program at Whitewater is to offer students on campus the ability to be able to participate and get hands on experience with doing research in their academic field. This gives students who take advantage of the opportunity the chance to take part in research projects and further not just their own knowledge but the knowledge in their given field. With Undergraduate Research day, these students are able to showcase their work and projects to their fellow students and to faculty who are wondering what is going on in other departments.
“It creates more ideas. With research sometimes you go into your lab and you start doing research and you forget that you’re doing something great. You think, ‘Why am I doing this? Am I alone here?’ One of the things that this event helps is that the student think ‘I’m not alone, there’s a lot of other students doing research and maybe I should talk to the one next to me, and I’m learning from them and they’re learning from me.’” said Nawash.
The Undergraduate Research program and the day itself features many projects and research from a variety of fields, from computer science, to music, to chemistry to social sciences. The representation is very spread out in terms of the fields that are present in undergraduate research and at the event. And with this broad representation, the program allows many students from across campus to do research no matter what their field of study is and to then further their careers and knowledge in their field.
“Pursuing research such as this makes me want to push forward,” said Selena Esquivel, a music major at Whitewater whose research is focused on methods to help blind people be able to participate in music more efficiently. “It makes me want to continue delving into music and special educational and keep myself going and use my research as motivation to not give up.”
For other students it gives them hands-on experience in what their field is in the professional world.
“As a chemist, most jobs are lab based. It would be great to have the experience. It’s been great to explore some different branches of chemistry and to feel around for what I really want to do.” said Molly Eilbes, a chemistry major on campus whose project focused on hydrogen gas as a fuel source.
Regardless of what students plan to research, the Undergraduate Research day offers students the chance to get their ideas out there.