Psychology Faculty Work


Engaging Undergraduate Summer Research Students and Faculty in a Regional Neuroscience Network

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JUNE: Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education

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Students who engage in experiential research programs and who form communities of learning are more likely to persist in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. Faculty who collaborate are more likely to publish and to stay engaged in their field. With funding from the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) Expanding Collaboration Initiative, we engaged in a series of summer seminars with neuroscience faculty and their research students at five regional institutions, the College of Wooster, Ohio Wesleyan University, Earlham College, Oberlin College and Kenyon College. Our goals were to provide an opportunity for faculty and students to learn about the methods used in the labs at these institutions, to increase collaborative relationships across these institutions, to develop a community of learning among participating students, and to provide students with professional development opportunities. Pre- and post-assessment data indicate knowledge gains in demonstrated methods and increased comfort performing the methods with supervision or collaboration. In addition, several collaborative relationships were formed and significant assistance with planning, materials, and/or apparatus was provided across institutions. In open-ended post-experience questions, students indicated valuing the relationships formed with other students in this community of learning. We will continue this program with continued funding through the GLCA Expanding Collaboration Initiative and submission of a multi-center National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant and encourage others to engage in similar practices at their own institutions.

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