CASTL hosts Undergraduates during Summer Research Program

More and more young adults are required to attend higher education in order to stay competitive in today’s society. This can be challenging for individuals that are first-generation college students or members of a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) helps tackle this issue by providing research and professional development experience to students during an 8-week internship. The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) hosted four student interns this summer from Wisconsin, Alabama, Virginia and Oregon.

“I wanted to have a research experience outside of the work I do at my university” explained Krystal Thomas, a senior at Virginia State University majoring in Psychology. “And I knew this experience would help me make my decision to pursue a Ph.D in educational psychology.”

SURP is designed to encourage students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field of education research to consider careers in academic, policy, or research organizations. “I have become more knowledgeable about the field that I am passionate about and developed my confidence.” said Charity Crowell, a senior at the University of Alabama studying Psychology.

Students worked across multiple projects at CASTL and were mentored by research faculty and graduate students. Samantha Angell, a senior at Ripon College majoring in Psychology and Sociology, said there is “a sense of community at CASTL, and people outside my immediate mentorship group were willing to lend a hand or give advice.”

The SURP students have participated in research meetings with their mentors, workshops on topics such as SPSS and the publication process, GRE preparation courses, a research conference, and social activities.

I feel confident now in my ability to work successfully within a research team, and develop my own sense as a researcher as I start to apply for graduate programs” described Caitlin Brown, a 5th year Psychology major at Southern Oregon University. “CASTL has prepared me for an intensive graduate program.”

The SURP students have had the opportunity to apply their work and led poster presentations on the research project they have assisted with during the summer. Presentations will be on Tuesday July 30th in Holloway Hall in Bavaro Hall from 3:30-4:15.

SURP is part of Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science (EP-ADS) program at the Curry School of Education. To learn more about these students, please visit the SURP alumni website.

By Leslie M. Booren