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KU Announces 10 Graduate Research Consultants for Fall Classes

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

LAWRENCE — This fall, ten Graduate Research Consultants are pairing with instructors in a wide variety of fields to challenge undergraduate students to further develop their research skills through classroom-based projects.

The Graduate Research Consultant (GRC) program, administered by KU’s Center for Undergraduate Research, is one of many initiatives at KU to expand experiential learning opportunities to a larger number of students. The GRC program provides financial support ($500) to a graduate student who works with a particular course to help design a research or creative project, mentor students and evaluate student learning. GRCs are expected to work 30 hours over the course of the semester to facilitate the students’ projects. The goal of the program is to enable the instructor to require more demanding research and creative projects while providing more support for the students.

“KU faculty have always cared about undergraduate research,” said John Augusto, assistant vice provost for experiential learning in undergraduate studies. “With extra support from the GRCs, faculty are finding creative ways to get more students involved in using the tools of their disciplines to answer research questions.”

Instructors and GRCs jointly applied for the awards in July, detailing the types of research activities they wanted to pursue in their classes and the learning outcomes they hope to achieve through these projects. 

Applications for Spring 2018 GRCs will be due Dec. 1. More information about the program is available here

GRC/instructor groups are listed below, along with course information:

Jessica Dutra, doctoral student in economics, and Gregory Leung (instructor), economics; a project with Econ 640: Labor Economics.

Jenny Flinders, master’s student in educational leadership & policy studies, and Roger Booker (instructor), educational leadership & policy studies; a project with ELPS 250: Education and Society.

Bennet Goeckner, doctoral student in mathematics, and Emily Witt, assistant professor of mathematics; a project with MATH 145: Calculus I, Honors.

Eugenia Hernandez-Ruiz, doctoral student in music therapy, and Abbey Dvorak, assistant professor of music; a project with MEMT 455: Psychology of Music.

William Hoffman, doctoral student in communication studies, and Ashley Muddiman, assistant professor of communication studies; a project with COMS 335: Rhetoric, Politics, and Mass Media.

Christina Ivers, doctoral student in Spanish & Portuguese, and Isidro Rivera, associate professor of Spanish & Portuguese; a project with Spanish 450: Medieval Spanish Studies.

Taybor Parker, doctoral student in molecular biosciences, and Kristi Neufeld, professor of molecular biosciences; a project with BIOL 688: Molecular Biology of Cancer.

Spencer Shanks, master’s student in global & international studies, and Nazli Avdan, assistant professor of political science; a project with POLS 689: International Migration.

Peyton Stensland, doctoral student in health, sport & exercise science, and Ollie Taniyev (instructor), health, sport & exercise science; a project with HSES 485: Sport Communication.

Xiao Yang (GRC), doctoral student in linguistics, and Utako Minai, associate professor of linguistics; a project with LING420: Capstone: Research in Language Science.

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Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
Use research to apply what you learned in the classroom to a real problem
Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times