CAS Undergraduate Research: Video Transcript

Dr. Michael Crowder [Chair and Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry]: The entire community in the state of Ohio and surrounding states know that some great things are going on at Miami.

Dr. John Rakovan [Professor, Geology and Environmental Earth Science]: I think that we are in a wonderful position in terms of our capabilities, both undergraduate and graduate level teaching and research, we excel at that.

Robbyn Abbitt [Geography GIS Coordinator]: We're providing students with the tools and the abilities to further themselves while they're here, maximize their potential while they are at Miami and really set them off on a good footing for when they leave here into their next stage.

Dr. Megan Gerhardt [Professor, Management]: We have the resources here and the mentorship here to allow them to do that in a way that's solid, that's effective, that's well established, you know they're going to solve the problems that are ahead of them. We have a lot of problems that this generation is going to be in charge of figuring out the answers to.

Dr. Andor Kiss [Director, Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics]: We are really here to train the students, to really push the university forward. They are the hands for most of the principal investigators, so they are the individuals who are carrying out the experiments and often people don't quite realize that when a scientist discovers something, he has an army of graduate students and undergraduate researchers. For them to be able to have hands-on ability to deal with this instrumentation, to have training from us to work through troubleshooting.

Dr. Richard Edelmann [Director, Center for Advanced Microscopy and Imaging, Adjunct Assistant Professor]: Miami seeks to provide the students who leave our doors with the best skill set possible that they can go off either into careers in science and industry or further their academic careers with advanced degrees. They know how to run the instruments themselves because they sit down and they run the instruments themselves.

Ethan Hollingsworth [College of Arst and Science, Class of 2017]: As a freshman even I was able to get involved, that has been very invaluable in giving me exposure to what a life in research and a career in research would be like.

Dr. Ann Rypstra [Director of Ecology Research Center; Professor]: Students can come to Oxford they have cutting-edge facilities, but they also have a site where they can do a field experiments. We have probably 70 to 100 undergraduates that will have small to medium size to large projects out here. We can provide the tools and the expertise, the kinds of research can't be done without a place to have a small mammal enclosures without having a place to stick cattle tanks for amphibian research or a place to put an aviary to do to ask those kinds of questions. It really enhances research.

Dr. John Rakovan: We aspire to have them work with us side-by-side as if they were colleagues and we treat them as such. They're not just numbers, understanding those concepts and actually doing experiments and using instrumentation in the correct way, really does require fundamental knowledge and when you see somebody achieve that level, it's very, very, satisfying.

Alison Tuiyott [College of Arts and Science, Class of 2018]: We have a room that is just all whiteboard, so you can write on all the walls. It doesn't sound like it's amazing but when you have an idea and your whole team is talking about it and no one can really visualize it and you just feel like writing it down somewhere. There are many times in our projects, especially last semester where we were stuck and it's like I don't know what you're saying, I don't know  what I'm saying, I need you to communicate with me. The guys would just go on the board and just write something, I'd be like well if you connected here and here, like it makes more sense. We all have different specialties and when we're together it's not only a collaboration we just make each other better.

Dr. Eric Hodgson [Director, Smale Visualization Center; Instructor, Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies]: It can be a great benefit when students come to the table with their own ideas and their own ambitions. That can be a great driver for faculty, to kind of, you know, branch out and discover new things, you know really help coach students through discovering new technologies and new techniques. I love to see students that can take what they learn here and launch their careers. We've had a lot of students do start-up companies or go work at game design studios or, you know, go intern at NASA; it makes us proud as faculty to watch our students go on to great things.

Dr. Herbert Jaeger [Chair and Professor, Physics]: The earlier start with this process the more, the more you can get accomplished as a student. It gives you a boost because then when you go on to to graduate school and have considerable experience in research that gives you a leg up among the other students.

Linda Zehler [Director of Lab Animal Resources]: We've also got a lot of expertise on our faculty, a lot of researchers that really know what they're doing and are able to teach it to students. It's really fun to see the students developing themselves as researchers.

Dr. Jessica Sparks [Associate Professor, Engineering]. They actually they will come up after class and say, "That research sounds really exciting, how do I get involved with that, that sounds like fun."  So I'm continuously recruiting more undergraduates to sort of get involved in the lab that way. The best students to have involved are the ones that are just genuinely excited about what you're doing.

Dr. Rachael Morgan-Kiss [Associate Professor, Microbiology]: I love, you know, the opportunity to teach in a lot of different ways. Our colleagues are amazed when they come here to visit and see our instrumentation facilities — that they're training facilities, too. So students have this additional advantage of getting trained on state-of-the-art equipment that usually nobody gets to touch.

Dr. Michael Crowder: Also the industry knows that this is also a gym to help solve problems, to look for talented workers for their companies. Miami has a ton to offer and that they can tap into the resources that are here, to the excitement of learning and solving problems.