Mentors sought for Undergraduate Research Scholars Program

I am writing to urge your participation in the Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) Program, a campus-wide program designed to give first- and second-year undergraduates their first exposure to the excitement of original research and artistic endeavor. Through this program, you have a unique opportunity to involve new college students in process of inquiry, discovery, and creativity that comprise the core of our institutional mission.

The URS Program is open to all first- and second-year students and especially encourages applications from students in under-represented groups. Fifty percent of students currently served by URS are students of color. Longitudinal data show that students who participate in URS achieve higher GPA and increased retention rates compared to their peers.

For the 2008/09 academic year, the URS Program seeks to offer approximately 200 research opportunities for its Undergraduate Research Scholars. The URS Program selected students who have the potential and motivation to benefit from a valuable research experience or from working closely with an artist, performer, writer, or choreographer. The program will provide scholars with substantial guidance and support, including regular seminars throughout the academic year, guidance from experienced peer mentors, and training in oral and written communication, time management, and responsible academic conduct. Students will earn academic credit for assisting you in your research or creative work by registering for the ILS 250 course.

If in your research or creative work, you can see a role that an engaged but inexperienced student might have, please take a moment to complete the enclosed form or the URS web application form at We are seeking opportunities across the spectrum of research and creative work that is done on our campus. The URS Program will not match students with faculty, but will guide the student in seeking you out for an interview based on the project and position summary that you have submitted.

By engaging URS undergraduates in your research or artistic endeavors, you will gain valuable assistance and the students will develop as an inquiry-based learners, artists, or writers. Your involvement is essential to the success of this program. The deadline for submission of your research opportunity is Friday, August 29th, 2008.

Further details are available at our website at or by contacting the URS Director, Svetlana T. Karpe at or 262 5884.


Patrick Farrell