The Student Undergraduate Research Council (SURC) promotes awareness about undergraduate research opportunities at NAU.
By generating awareness, SURC hopes to increase the number of students engaged in research, scholarly, or creative projects at NAU. We also want to convey to students studying in a variety of disciplines and coming from diverse backgrounds that doing research is beneficial for their academic and career development. The members of SURC believe that participating in undergraduate research is an important experience for anyone interested in gaining more knowledge and a deeper appreciation of their academic field.
Major: Biological Sciences, with a minor in Chemistry
Mentor: Dr. Cindy Browder, Dr. Kiisa Nishikawa, and Dr. Russell Benford
Current research: Elemental characterization of Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) scales using spectral imaging techniques
Research activities: BIO485; CHM485; BIO680; Interns-to-Scholars program; NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at University of Texas Marine Science Institute; Two time Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (HURA) recipient
Why I do this: Undergraduate research aids in the development of a professional
network, promotes one's ability to work independently, and augments course studies. Students come to college to ultimately pursue a career specific to their interests, and undergraduate research allows them to do so early. This is why I am involved; it allows me to do the things I am in college to pursue while I am still in college.
Major: Psychology, with minors in Criminal Justice, Biology, & Chemistry
Mentor: Dr. C. Chad Woodruff
Current research: Using EEG to quantify event-related desynchronization (ERD) related to visual processing and empathy
Research activities: PSY485; Interns-to-Scholars program; NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at Indiana University-Bloomington; Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (HURA) recipient
Why I do this: I became involved in undergraduate research as a
sophomore because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after college. I eventually
decided I wanted to go to graduate school but I learned that research was part
of getting a Ph.D., so I asked professors about their research interests to see
if mine were a match and that's when I found Dr. Woodruff. Neuroscience was the
most interesting topic I had studied so far and after being in his lab for a few
semesters, I realized that undergraduate research not only builds knowledge and
work ethic, but also contributes greatly to development as a person and a
scholar. Undergraduate research is not just working in a lab; it is being
involved with science at a higher level - a level that builds character,
self-esteem, motivation, and determination.
Major: Chemistry ACS, with a minor in Mathematics
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Duis
Current research: Conducting a study on students to see the effect of using cell phones in the classroom and how it corresponds to grades
Research activities: CHM485, Transfer-GEMS, Border Latino American Indian Scholars Exposure to Research (BLAISER)
Why I do this: What I enjoy about research is being able to apply the skills I have learned in a classroom to a hands-on experience. I think that it is important to also learn if research is going to be the right type of career path for a science field. Being able to collaborate is a vital skill in the science field and what better way to do so than to get hands-on experience.
Major: Mathematics and Secondary Education in Mathematics
Mentor: Dr. Dana Ernst and Mr. Jeffrey Rushall
Current research: Attempting to prove the conjecture that all unicyclic graphs have prime labelings; creating applets for Calculus
Research activities: MAT485; CURM mini-grant; Interns-to-Scholars program
Why I do this: Getting involved in research is my favorite part of being an undergraduate. Although I love my other classes, research provides different opportunities that you wouldn't necessarily receive in a conventional classroom. It allows you to work closely with professors and, sometimes, other undergraduates. It also allows you to think creatively. Lastly, research provides you with a chance to learn more about a topic that really interests you, or study something that you may not come across in your regular undergraduate studies.
Major: Biomedical Sciences, with a minor in Chemistry
Mentor: Dr. Tinna Traustadottir
Current research: Determining the biochemical properties and responses of the titin protein
Research activities: CHM485
Why I do this: I strongly believe that undergraduates should do research, especially those in the sciences. You get to explore things that don't necessarily have answers yet. The idea of being the first one to discover something is exhilarating. It also provides an avenue for building a relationship with people who could be outstanding references for you after graduation!