MCC Undergraduate Research Scholar Program Student Information

What is research, and what does participation in URSP involve?

Does the idea of research conjure images of test tubes, experiments, and/or lab work?  Well, it could include some of those elements, but not necessarily.  Simply put, research exists to discover, document, or interpret knowledge, and to develop methods to further advance study/knowledge.  For URSP, research will include two components:

Introduction to Research Workshop Series

Research methods vary from subject to subject; for example, the rules for conducting a chemistry research project are very different from the rules for conducting historical research.  These rules are commonly referred to as disciplinary standards.  To introduce these concepts, URSP students will participate in required workshops that provide an overview of disciplinary standards along with training in research writing and presentation skills. 

Conducting Research

Under the supervision of a faculty member, students in URSP will carry out their research activities in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary standards.  Depending on the project, those activities may include helping with lab work, literature reviews, experiments, fieldwork, archival searches, document review, mapping, statistics, and more.   

Research projects will be conducted over one semester, and you may spend 4 to 8 hours per week on their project.  At the close of the semester, you will prepare a journal quality article and a poster displaying the details of your work at a research forum for faculty review.

What’s in it for me?

The aim of URSP is to offer you an experience that the traditional classroom setting does not always permit.  Research allows us move beyond reading and discussing ideas, to actually examining those concepts in their natural context or environment.  In addition, you will:

  • Gain more confidence in your ability to interpret, evaluate, and discuss information
  • Develop a rapport for working with peers and faculty
  • Improve your communication skills, including reading, writing, and presentation skills
  • Clarify major and career goals
  • Gain additional credentials for resume or application to four year school or graduate study

What is required for participation?

Participation requirements include:

  • Enrollment in a one-credit, independent-study class (tuition is covered by program)
  • Participate in research seminars to learn the fundamentals of conducting and reporting research
  • Full or part-time enrollment during the research semester
  • GPA of 2.0 or better
  • Approval of faculty sponsoring research

What can I research?

Possible topics include:

  • Spanish language and literature, linguistics, language and education, immigration, effect of language on education, Latin America politics, Cuba with Mary Kanter, ESL instructor
  • Media and journalism; creative writing: historical fiction with Toni Countryman, English and journalism instructor
  • Art and popular culture, art education and critical multiculturalism, art and social problems, and pedagogy with Sarah Ruthven, art history instructor
  • Women and children's literature with Kate Midday, English instructor
  • Healthcare reform: What's going to happen? Is healthcare getting unpersonalized with Allison Minicz, AOM instructor
  • Research of attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and the relationship between these factors with Christine Grela, psychology instructor