The undergraduate research series started on Wednesday for all students interested in undergraduate research opportunities at Weber State University. Barbara Trask of the zoology department and Kathryn MacKay of the history department were the first speakers in the seminar series.

This student research seminar series is designed to help students become more involved and educated about student research opportunities at WSU.

Medical laboratory science students senior Jason Davis and junior Justin Anderson are the students behind this seminar series.

“It started as a research club idea and instead became a highlight on how to do research and what resources are available to students,” Davis said.

Davis said that the out-of-classroom learning is important to him, and he said he wants all students to have access to the resources he has been using.

“The office of undergraduate research at WSU and Sigma Xi were both important in my research,” Davis said.

Anderson said that he initially started looking into research as a pre-medical school requirement, but ended up staying in research out of personal interest.

(photo by: Tyler Brown) Dr. MacKay presenting her take on research to students.
(Photo by: Tyler Brown) Kathryn MacKay presents her take on research to students.

Both Davis and Anderson organized this seminar series to help other students find answers to what can be an intimidating process.

Trask kicked off the series with an explanation of how important research can be to both the student and the university.

“Participation in undergraduate research will help you become a better student and even a better person in general,” Trask said. “Research necessitates patience, perseverance,  independence and self-reliance among students.”

The outline of the presentation started with reasons to research in conjunction with how to start doing research.

According to Trask, there are two ways to start doing research.

The first method is to find a faculty member already engaged in research and approach him/her with ideas concerning projects.

The second method is to design an individual project based on research and a unique approach on the topic.

“Research can be intimidating to start but is worth the effort in the end,” Trask said.

MacKay stressed the importance of developing good habits of the mind while being able to doubt, question and research.

Davis said that he wants all students to know that the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research is always a good resource for questions.  For more information on the office, visit weber.edu/OUR.

This seminar is the first in a series of topics. The next lecture is on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in Shepherd Union Building Room 404. The next seminar will be presented by Travis Price and Kay Stevenson and is about how to develop a research question.

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