Campus will participate in systemwide workshop

Whether at a field site or in a lab, the chance to conduct research is a game-changer for many CSU Monterey Bay students when it comes to earning a degree.

The experiences, they say, can ignite a passion, build and reinforce confidence, keep them on track for graduation and provide a head start on graduate school.

At CSUMB, the challenge of pursuing a hypothesis down a rigorous line of research is infused throughout the curriculum. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center – UROC – builds on the curriculum to engage students in research beyond the classroom.

video of research donen by Xeromino CastanedaUROC is a cross-campus center that serves students in multiple disciplines. These experiences help students make the link between their classroom and the wider world and help them to develop critical skills for success in graduate school and professional life.

Now, campuses in the CSU are coming together to do some serious thinking about undergraduate research across the 23-campus system. Because of its leadership in this area, CSUMB has been selected to participate in a workshop next October designed to improve and expand the opportunities for students. Eight other campuses will also participate. The emphasis will be on the STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – fields.

The workshop will emphasize connecting current undergraduate research activities across campuses, developing databases to track students’ progress, building undergraduate research into faculty workload and identifying a curriculum model that would provide every undergraduate access to research opportunities.

UROC began in January 2009. Since then, nearly 200 students have been served; currently, 60 students are engaged in or pursuing research placements.

“We know the power of undergraduate research here at CSUMB,” said Dr. Bill Head, UROC director and professor in the Division of Science and Environmental Policy. “We’re proud of the commitment and leadership our campus has shown at providing these opportunities for our students.

“We look forward to collaborating with our partner campuses to expand these opportunities throughout the CSU educational experience.”

To learn about the work done by UROC students, click here

About UROC: UROC is home to CSU Monterey Bay’s strong and growing undergraduate research-related programs, such as the McNair Scholars Program, the National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program (LSAMP), and the Department of Education’s College Cost Reduction and Access Act grant program. The center is housed in the new Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library and funded through federal grants, private contributions, and corporate donations. For more information, click here.

Image above: Taken from a video highlighting the research project by Xeromino Castaneda