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Jamie Branch

Alumni Spotlight | October 2014

KU major: Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2013

Current occupation: Fulbright Scholar/Researcher

Research mentor while at KU: Lorin Maletsky

Describe the undergraduate research experience that you had while at KU: I conducted research on knee joint kinematics in the Experimental Joint Biomechanics Research Lab.



Q: What do you think was the most important thing you learned while doing undergraduate research? 

A: Conducting undergraduate research helped me identify if graduate school and continuing other avenues of research was the right path for me.


Q: What advice do you have for undergraduates who might be interested in doing research?

A: Research provides an excellent avenue of application of what you learn in the classroom to something tangible and hands on. Undergraduate research can open many doors and provides experience applicable to attaining internships, graduate school offers, and research fellowships/scholarships.


Q: Do you use any of the skills or perspectives gained doing research in your current occupation?  How so?

A: My undergraduate research experience was vital to my successful application for a Fulbright scholarship to conduct research abroad for one year. Learning how to organize and execute a research project was the most important take away of my undergraduate research, and this experience led to the more effective implementation of my current graduate research endeavors.


Q: Many undergraduate researchers are making decisions about what to do after they graduate from KU. Having been in those shoes, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then? Do you have any advice?

A:  Explore all your options and seek advice from a diverse group of peers and mentors.

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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
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