Our emphasis on Undergraduate Research 

Undergraduate research (UGR) is knowledge in action.  It involves both collaborative and independent learning, and it is woven into every corner of our campus. Student researchers are in art studios, the theater, the library, science labs, internships, the wilderness, and even in classrooms! Our faculty, armed with advanced degrees and decades of experience, are the guiding force of the UGR experience at FLC. But our students are the engine.  Working alongside their mentors, UGR students contribute to advances in their respective fields while learning from the work of their professors, who often weave their own research into the courses they teach. At FLC, UGR is not a thing we do. It’s who we are.

Defining Undergraduate Research 

UGR is a journey into the unknown. Through research and creative activities, we take what we know and push our boundaries of understanding.  Students engaged in UGR ask questions, test ideas, find solutions, and create new ways of understanding. UGR involves the type of critical thinking skills—reflection, examination, inquiry—that define the FLC experience. Research shows that students who engage in UGR are more satisfied with their college experience, which may well explain why the FLC experience is so unique!

How to get involved in research

Are you ready to take your learning experience to the next level? The first step is to think about who you want to work with.  Do you have professors from your classes who you particularly like?  If so, try approaching them after class to ask if they do research with students and if they might have any openings coming up. You may have to ask multiple professors before you find the right mentor, but don’t give up. Just keep asking!  And plan to be flexible and open-minded about what different research opportunities might look like.

In addition, stop by our end-of-term UGR Symposia where students present their work in Oral or Poster Sessions.  This is a great opportunity to meet research-active faculty and hear from students about their research and creative projects.  Students can find out more on our Symposia Canvas page.

Come to our Speaker Series

If you are curious how people's personal stories relate to their research, check out our Speaker Series, which happens on various Wednesdays throughout the term at 4:30 pm on the Main Stage of the FLC Theatre.  Students can see this term’s line-up on our Speaker Series Canvas page.  The talks last about 35 minutes and are followed by a Q&A session and then conversation with food and drinks. Students at all levels, staff, faculty, and the public are welcome!

Apply for a research grant

Once you get connected with a research mentor, you can apply for money from both internal and external funding sources to help you carry out your research.  Students: check out the FLC Internal Grants Canvas page; you can receive up to $2000 during your time at FLC.  This money can be distributed between Supply Grants ($1000 per student per term) to carry out your work and Travel Grants ($800 per student) which can pay for travel to present your work.

Take advantage of summer opportunities

On-campus    

FLC hosts students on campus during Maymester to participate in immersive 20+ hour-a-week research or creative projects with other students and a faculty mentors. This program includes free on-campus housing and 3 meals a day. Students benefit from hands-on experiential learning in their fields of study and from the positive influences of interacting with other highly motivated students pursuing a diverse range of academic interests. Social activities and professional development opportunities are provided by the UGR office.

In addition, there are many department-based summer research opportunities.  Ask your professors about these or reach out to Christine (smith_christine@fortlewis.edu).

Off-campus

There are also many (many!) off-campus opportunities that are available to FLC students.  Follow our Instagram see the fun, interesting and educational opportunities that are available in your field. 

Also, be sure to check out the annual FLC Grad Plus Fair, which takes place on our campus each fall.  For more information, students can check out our Grad Plus Fair Canvas page.

Contact

Benjamin Waddell

Coordinator of Undergraduate Research

Academic Hub

Phone: 970-247-6950

Email: bjwaddell@fortlewis.edu

Christine Smith

Undergraduate Research Support Coordinator

Academic Hub

Phone: 970-852-5190

Email: smith_christine@fortlewis.edu