The University’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities continues to grow, with a record number of students conducting research that advances human health, security and sustainability, and community vitality.
Participation in undergraduate research and other forms of hands-on, experiential learning plays a critical role in helping students apply their classroom knowledge. In addition, undergraduate research has been linked to improved problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills. UGA is one of the select few institutions in the nation that allows students to conduct research as early as their first semester on campus, and our status as a major research university attracts some of the world’s most talented students to Georgia.
Undergraduate research is often discussed exclusively in terms of its benefits to students, but a quick glance at the Book of Abstracts from this year’s CURO Symposium reveals the scientific and social impact of the research that our students conduct. More than 575 students are participating in this year’s symposium, and their research explores issues ranging from infectious diseases to youth development and global trade. It’s not uncommon for our undergraduate students to publish their findings as co-authors with faculty members in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature or to present their findings at professional conferences. These activities give students an edge as they apply for their first job or graduate school while also contributing to the broader advancement and dissemination of knowledge.
The CURO Symposium is administered by the Honors Program but is open to students from across campus. This year’s presenters are pursuing 103 different majors from 78 departments. A total of 330 faculty members have served as mentors to this year’s CURO Symposium participants, and I deeply appreciate their exemplary dedication to our students.
CURO has a long history at UGA and is poised for even more growth. Fall 2018 will mark the launch of the Research Living Learning Community, which will be located in Building 1516 and will accommodate 28 students who are interested in pursuing faculty-mentored research. These students will have access to an exclusive course taught by the R House director, receive a CURO Research Assistantship in the spring semester and have the support of a dedicated resident assistant and graduate assistant.
CURO exemplifies the unrivaled learning opportunities the University of Georgia provides. It also contributes to an institutional culture where students and faculty members are committed to creating and applying knowledge whose impact extends well beyond campus.
Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities