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Kent State’s Student Multicultural Center Launches Faculty-Student Research Program

Posted Nov. 11, 2013

New Faculty-Student Connection program targets undergraduate African-American, Latino American and Native American students

Kent State University’s Student Multicultural Center is introducing an undergraduate research program that partners African-American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA) students with tenure-track faculty members. The program, called Faculty-Student Connection, offers the opportunity for AALANA undergraduate students and faculty members to work on a common research project within their major or field of study. The new program, which is not restricted to the sciences, covers research, scholarship and creative activities, and it is open to all majors and fields of study.

The Faculty-Student Connection program will enhance knowledge creation for AALANA students and help prepare them for graduate or professional school. The program also will support tenure-track faculty members in accomplishing their academic goals. A $1,000 budget will be offered to each faculty-student pair to help pay for travel to meetings, supplies or other nonsalary, project-related expenses. Faculty members are eligible to receive funds to mentor only one student through this program per calendar year, but they may have additional students that they mentor through other programs or funding sources.

Students who participate in undergraduate research are able to reach new heights in their academic potential.

“Conducting research during the academic year enormously enhanced my academic skills,” says Dondrea Brown, M.Ed., who participated in a nationally recognized undergraduate research program at Kent State. “In addition to conducting my own research project under the mentorship of a faculty member, I learned to prepare poster and PowerPoint presentations for conferences and improved my public speaking. Overall, I would say the experience was transformative!”

Students in junior or senior standing will be preferentially paired with faculty members who are prior to their three-year review or who have not yet mentored a student in the program, while students with first- or second-year standing will be preferentially paired with faculty members who have completed their three-year review or have previously mentored a student in the program.

Faculty will serve as academic mentors for the students to guide them in their progress. The topic of study to be selected will be an important aspect of faculty members’ scholarship so that the product generated contributes meaningfully toward faculty members’ work. Faculty will gain valuable experience mentoring and a research product that contributes toward their tenure packet. 

The Faculty-Student Connection program will include extended, semester or longer collaborations between faculty mentors and undergraduate students. Faculty and student participants will be required to provide an end-of-project report explaining how the work impacted them in their position at Kent State and their career objectives.

Student participants also will be required to share their work with internal and external Kent State constituents, which will include a research presentation of their project on April 2, 2014, at the University Symposium on Undergraduate Research.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, student participants must:

  • Have a declared major
  • Have a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average
  • Be an African-American, Latino/a or Hispanic, Native American or Asian/Pacific Islander (AALANA) student at Kent State

Faculty-student pairs from all Kent State disciplines are eligible to participate in the program.

How to Apply
Student participants are required to submit:

  • A Faculty-Student Connection application (contact Oscar Ramos at oramos@kent.edu);
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members;
  • A 300-word essay that includes a summary of the applicant’s desire to participate in undergraduate research, areas of research interest, career and professional goals, etc.;
  • A writing sample from previous coursework (no more than seven pages); and
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts.

The 2013-2014 application deadline is Nov. 29.

Student participants will be selected on the basis of having the potential for graduate studies. A committee composed of faculty members and executive officers from the Student Multicultural Center will interview and select eligible students.

For more information about the Faculty-Student Connection program, contact Oscar Ramos at 330-672-8584 or oramos@kent.edu.

For more information about Kent State’s Student Multicultural Center, visit www.kent.edu/smc.