Sixty incoming Oklahoma State University freshmen from 10 states have each received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue an early, hands-on introduction to university-level research this year. Representing 33 majors from aerospace engineering to zoology, the students will participate in the Freshman Research Scholars (FRS) program which has been recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for excellence in undergraduate research programming.
In this unique first-look at academic inquiry, students expand their education beyond the classroom by engaging in cutting-edge research under the guidance of some of the most innovative faculty on campus. FRS students learn basic research ethics and methodology while working closely with their mentors and graduate assistants to design and conduct projects that the students choose.
“My mentor personally taught me all of the new research techniques and is always willing to take the time to help me better understand my topic and let me fully participate in research without babying me,” said Sydnee Homeyer, a biochemistry major.
“We want to give students a significant research experience so they can take full advantage of all that a comprehensive research university has to offer before they graduate,” said Tim O’Neil, Undergraduate Research Coordinator in The Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research. “This early introduction is an important part of a broader initiative to increase undergraduate research in all fields of study—not just the laboratory sciences.”
OSU also offers many opportunities for students of all majors and classifications to continue their research beyond the first year. Robust, nationally-recognized undergraduate research programs at OSU include the Lew Wentz Research Program ($4,500 scholarships for up to 50 students annually) and the Niblack Research Scholars ($8,000 scholarships for up to 12 students annually). Through these programs, former Freshman Research Scholars have been awarded more than $120,000 in research funding for the current academic year.
“Of course, you don’t have to participate in a formal program to find receptive faculty at OSU who are ready to mentor interested students in research,” added O’Neil. “Our faculty makes OSU a truly vibrant community for young scholars with big questions.”
“My mentor helped me so much my freshman year and he is still completely willing to support my growth and advancement as a person and a researcher,” explained Susan Pham, biochemistry major.”He helped me through so many struggles whether academic, research or life-related. It really is a blessing that I found him as a mentor.”
For more information about the Freshman Research Scholars program and other undergraduate research opportunities at Oklahoma State University, please contact The Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research at 334 Student Union, Stillwater, OK 74078, 405-744-7313, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at http://www.okstate.edu/scholars.
Click for a list of the 2014-15 Freshman Research Scholars