Undergraduate Research Program seminar gives students opportunity to get involved
BY ELIZABETH CASELLA
Ever wonder what it would be like to discover a cure to cancer, how to make gasoline out of algae or even isolate mutant cells in rats for various different fields of studies? Research in molecular biology and chemistry can offer chances to study these different topics among many others. On April 6 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the VisTa Tech center room VT425, the Undergraduate Research seminar will inform students about undergraduate research programs offered by Wayne State University, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and Schoolcraft.
Schoolcraft is offering students opportunities to further their education in a way many students may not have the chance to do without a degree. This seminar will offer information about the upcoming undergrad research programs and give students an opportunity to ask questions and talk with representatives from the attending schools.
This seminar will also offer information to students on what classes to take, job opportunities available in the future and other information involving education and the future. This program can set-up students who are willing to commit to an Undergrad program. Four sessions of speakers will be on hand. The first three sessions will offer speakers from the three different schools, Schoolcraft College, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. The fourth session will feature Schoolcraft Honor student McKenzie Hayes, who is currently involved in Schoolcraft’s Undergraduate Research Program. Hayes, who has worked with all three of Schoolcraft’s projects, will discuss her experiences with the program to attendees.
“The Undergraduate Research Program is meant to give students a deeper understanding of what they are reading in their text books,” said Professor David O’Hagan, part-time biology instructor and staff advisor of the Undergraduate Research Program at Schoolcraft. “This program is meant to give students the hands on experience they would be doing in real jobs before they graduate to give them a head start.”
Schoolcraft offers the Undergraduate Biological Research Internship Program, which offers students the chance to conduct research in biology and chemistry with three different projects: the factor V project, a biofuels project and a cancer project. The Factor V project tries to shut off the mutant gene that causes the blood to clot through molecular biology. The Biofuels project attempts to create gasoline from algae, and the cancer project works to find a cure for the disease. Students enrolled in the program will conduct these projects at the state of the art Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center lab in Plymouth with full use of the equipment and labs available to the program.
“Undergraduate research is an opportunity to help narrow your career path and boost your resume. Many community college students don’t get this opportunity, so I would like to spread awareness about what Schoolcraft and these neighboring universities have to offer students” said Hayes.
Dr. Robert Atkins from Wayne State does not represent a specific program from the school, but will explain the research he conducts with undergraduates in his professional research labs through the Undergraduate Research Program.
“Student research gives me a chance to explore unanswered questions and build on skills for my future career. Anyone interested in critical discussion on current medical and biological sciences could benefit from this program in the same ways,” said Schoolcraft student and member of the Undergraduate Research Program, Heather Gill.
The University of Michigan offers the Community College Fellowship Program (CCSFP), which allows students from Michigan to participate in a paid ten-week summer internship, with fields offered ranging from biology to arts and communication to engineering. Students will also participate in weekly seminars during their internships. University of Michigan’s Catalina Ormsby the Associate Director of the University Research Opportunity Program will explain their program.
Students interested in the undergrad programs should attend this informational seminar for a first step in the direction of any scientific field major. Students will leave having a greater knowledge of what Schoolcraft has to offer before they graduate. They also will gain more information on what the future in science majors can hold and how they can prepare for this future.