Group Shot at the 2010 Summer Research
Originally uploaded by LAUSatPSU
I pose this question after just returning from the CIC Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) conference held at The Ohio State University from 7/22-25/2010. This event is part of the capstone experience for some 464 students who have participated in an eight-week research internship attracting students in numerous disciplines who aspire to graduate study. The goal of SROP is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who will enroll and seek graduate degrees at CIC universities. Penn State University had a cohort of 31 students participating in this activity. There were three students from the College of the Liberal Arts in the aforementioned group. During the conference I met four other Penn State students participating in SROP at University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Ohio State University. These students participated in poster sessions and discussion roundtables; networked with faculty and SROP alumni; and attended a recruitment fair.
We had the opportunity hear Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as the keynote speaker. He shared his experiences as a young person growing up in New York. His early passion to understand and study the universe was a driving force directing his achievements. He is a frequent guest on the Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and hosts PBS's show NOVAscienceNow.
These SROP participants have a leg up on the process of getting admitted to graduate schools because they have shown the initiative, commitment, and the desire to make a difference by engaging in the research process. Some of these students will continue to be involved in research when they return to their home institution. Over 59% of these students will graduate by fall 2011 with GPAs of 3.4 or above.
If you have not been involved in research, you should consider connecting with the faculty in your major this fall to open this new vista. Check with your advisor or faculty to learn more about research experiences in your major.
Take a look at some of the photos taken at the CIC Summer Research Opportunities conference: