View Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity at the Statesboro Campus
What is UR?
At Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus, undergraduates pursue investigation, inquiry, and creative expression across the curriculum in the sciences, arts, and humanities. Undergraduate research takes many forms:
- archival work
- observational studies
- field work
- data analysis
- independent studies
- senior/capstone projects
- original compositions
- literary analysis
- creative projects
- research papers
Undergraduate research (UR) broadens the college experience by offering engaged learning opportunities. UR focuses on conducting experiments, analyzing data, interpreting a text or a work of art within an historical and cultural context, making connections, exploring meaning, or uncovering contradictions. Working closely with faculty members, Armstrong undergraduates discover the process of learning as they collaborate on projects. Doing independent research allows students to develop their own original ideas and present them to a wider audience; they become producers, not just consumers, of knowledge.
Why do Undergraduate Research?
Learning through Research
As the Council on Undergraduate Research explains, “Participation in undergraduate research with a faculty mentor is also acknowledged as a contributor to student retention in undergraduate studies and as a valuable mechanism to direct students toward specific career paths. The changing demographics of our students, the expanding scope of institutions providing undergraduate education, and the enhanced appreciation for active learning strategies have further propelled undergraduate research to national prominence an as effective educational strategy.” (Kerry K. Karukstit & Timonth E. Elgren, editors, Forward in Developing & Sustaining a Research-Supportive Curriculum, 2007).
Students who participate in collaborative research with faculty make significant gains in their ability to think analytically and logically. They can more skillfully communicate their own ideas, and perhaps most importantly, they learn how to learn on their own. Conducting original research and creating their own conclusions helps undergraduates hone research skills, define their academic interests and objectives, and become part of the larger university research community. Studies, such as one done by John Ishiyama (2002), confirm these findings for the social sciences and the humanities.
Students who participate in an undergraduate research experience are better prepared for graduate and professional school. They have a better understanding of the demands of graduate training in their fields, and benefit from exposure to specific research tools, methods, and techniques. Most importantly, undergraduate researchers have more highly developed critical thinking skills. For students not planning postgraduate work, the benefits of undergraduate research are also clear, as critical thinking, analytical abilities, and problem-solving skills are all enhanced by undergraduate research.
Conducting their own research allows undergraduates to expand their personal knowledge of a specific topic and presenting their results at public conferences and symposia fosters respect for mastery of a subject, concern for clear and logical organization, and satisfaction of sharing one’s work. Undergraduate Research opens doors to future careers, life-long learning, and helps cultivate a commitment to excellence. While deepening a student’s disciplinary education, research can also integrate disciplines from across the spectrum by bringing together methods and materials from diverse fields like music and history or literature and political science.
What do Undergraduate Scholars do?
At Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus, undergraduates pursue investigation, inquiry and creative expression in the sciences, arts and humanities. The Armstrong campus offers many opportunities for students to delve into research-based projects, whether in a classroom setting or in close collaboration with a faculty member. Through these platforms, students gain invaluable skills, foster relationships with faculty and maximize their academic experience.
Students who collaborate with faculty make significant gains in their ability to think analytically and logically and they learn how to learn on their own. Conducting original research and creating their own conclusions helps undergraduates hone research skills, define their academic interests and objectives and become part of the larger university research community. Studies, such as one done by John Ishiyama (2002), confirm these findings for the social sciences and the humanities.
Students who participate in an undergraduate research experience are better prepared for graduate and professional school. They have a better understanding of the demands of graduate training in their fields and benefit from exposure to specific research tools, methods and techniques. Most importantly, undergraduate researchers have more highly developed critical thinking skills. For students not planning postgraduate work, the benefits of undergraduate research are also clear, as critical thinking, analytical abilities and problem-solving skills are all enhanced by undergraduate research.
Events and Conferences
Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus has a proud tradition of student involvement in various scholarly and creative endeavors. Whether it’s turning a ceramic vase or synthesizing chemical compounds, students are working side by side with faculty making valuable contributions to their fields of expertise. The Scholars Symposium provides a venue for the campus and the community to come together to celebrate these accomplishments and to recognize the outstanding scholarly achievements made by our students.
Submission deadline: TBD
Symposium Dates: April 24-25, 2019
Annual Middle Georgia State University Undergraduate History Conference
The Department of History and Political Science at Middle Georgia State University invites paper, panel, and poster proposals for its annual undergraduate History conference. The conference is open to all undergraduates researching any historical topic in any discipline. Submissions should make an original contribution to the study of history.
For more information please contact Matthew Zimmerman at email@example.com or (478)471-5749.
British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference
The British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, inaugurated in 1992, is the oldest and longest-running annual meeting of its kind in the United States. It encompasses colonial and postcolonial histories, literatures, creative and performing arts, politics, economics, and all other aspects of the countries formerly colonized by Britain and other European powers. The aim of the conference, then, is to be interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, and to offer scholars and researchers, teachers and students, the opportunity to disseminate and discuss their knowledge and understanding of the dynamic, important field of postcolonial studies. For the 26th annual conference, Clair Wills, the Leonard L. Milberg Professor of Irish Letters at Princeton University and member of the Royal Irish Academy, will give the Keynote address.
Find out more here: BCPSC
NCUR: National Conferences on Undergraduate Research
Now in existence for over twenty years, the conference regularly hosts 2,000 students and their faculty mentors to present their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts and performances. Find out more information here: NCUR
16th Claremont – University of California Undergraduate Conference on the E.U.
This conference is aimed to encourage undergraduate students to learn more about the European Union as well as interact with other students and professors who have various expertise in this field. Find out more here: Claremont UC Undergraduate Research
Find out more here: UC
Albany State University 5th Annual Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium
Check back soon for more details or visit the Conference website.
Assistant Professor of History Michael Benjamin & Hist 5980: Public History
Students enrolled in Dr. Michael Benjamin’s Public History course curated an exhibit of books by and about the African-American experience that was on display at the Southwest Chatham branch of Live Oak Public Library. Dr. Benjamin gave students access to his impressive personal collection of books by African-Americans to select a broad range of texts that reflect African-American history. They organized their exhibit chronologically and wrote the exhibition copy. Students also did their own census of books at the Carnegie Library branch to discover what African-Americans in Savannah were reading and collecting in the era before integration. The whole class held a public panel discussion attended by local media outlets and the director of the Live Oak Public Library system at the end of the semester.
Managerial Economics Data Collection
Jason Beck, Assistant Professor of Economics & Econ 3500 Managerial Economics
Dr. Jason Beck, Assistant Professor of Economics, involved undergraduates in his ECON 3500: Managerial Economics class collecting data for study of the effect of geographical proximity of competitors on retail price in the supermarket business. The hypothesis was that, controlling for other factors, stores with competitors very close by would have lower prices than those that were more isolated. Each student picked a supermarket and collected pricing data, then they aggregated it all together and analyzed the findings as a class. One student in the econometrics class continues working with Dr. Beck on this project.
Sociology UR Embedded in Syllabus
In Dr. Ned Rinalducci’s Media and Society course, they discuss the media frames that news organizations use to report stories. These frames make it easier for consumers to understand stories, but limit the nature of the reporting. Each student enrolled in class was instructed to find 5-10 news articles, from national and international sources, on the riots in England of August this year and try to identify the media frames being used. It appears that the Western media had a hard time explaining the riots. Students were asked on a voluntary basis to go further with the assignment and perform a content analysis on the various articles. This project will serve as a preliminary analysis for future work on the topic and will be presented by the students at the Georgia Sociological Association’s annual meeting in October.
Real Student Perspectives
Raymond Franklin (Armstrong 2010) has returned to his alma mater to pursue a Master’s in History. He credits his undergraduate research projects as a history major with influencing his decision to pursue graduate work. He explains, “My first real experience with undergraduate research was during the fall of 2008. I wrote a paper on the origins of Pharaoh Akhenaton and his religious reforms during the 14th dynastic period. Under the advice of Dr. Tatlock, I decided to submit my paper to the Middle-East Student Symposium. It was a fantastic experience and certainly prepared me for graduate school.” Franklin recognizes that his experiences conducting undergraduate research prepared him for graduate school and allowed him to gain real world experience.
Franklin cites History 3500 and History 4500 as key courses that helped him strengthen his research method, from choosing a research topic to gathering sources to writing a polished analysis. Franklin recalls one of his favorite papers about the destruction of Belgium during the First World War, “My research demonstrated that much of the country’s historic libraries and universities, most notably in Louvain, were nearly completely destroyed during Germany’s annexation.”
Interest in history provides Franklin with the drive and discipline required to investigate historical topics and come up with original theses. He credits the research librarians of Lane Library as well as his professors with providing him with the proper tools and resources for investigating historical topics on his own time. He says, “The classes and assignments I had as an undergraduate, in tandem with the guidance of both faculty and staff, allowed me to realize my potential as a serious student of history.”
Franklin graduated with a B.A. in history in December 2010. After graduation he decided that the pursuit of a M.A. in history was the correct choice for him. He attributes his desire to continue studying history to his academic experiences and involvement with undergraduate research. “I couldn’t get enough,” he says. “The desire to conduct historical research and produce a paper worthy of placing my name on became a goal in and of itself.” Franklin served as the Graduate Assistant for Undergraduate Research in the Liberal Arts.
With a Master’s degree, Franklin hopes to become a professor of history. “I’ve realized that history is in my blood. Is there really anything else?”
Dr. Monica Rausch, Assistant Professor of English, organizes summer internships for Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus students to hone their job skills and help them apply what they have learned in the classroom. Fittingly, she requires students to do much of the research of finding an internship on their own. She believes, “researching, applying for, and interviewing for an internship are all part of the internship’s learning process.” She wants students to remember that the skills they use to get an internship are the same ones they will rely on in the future when looking for and applying for a job. She counsels students not to “find an internship simply to ‘find an internship,’ or to earn course credit. Interns who have done this in the past report getting very little of use out of the internship and have been miserable while completing it. This internship is your first opportunity to work in your future career field, so make the most of it!”
In 2010, English major, Dashiell Coleman, had an internship with the Savannah Morning News. He submitted reports for the metro section of the newspaper. He raved about his experience, “Translating what I saw into print to relay to the general public was nothing short of a wonderful experience. I’m now a more confident writer and I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade. I’m excited to have chosen this career path and I can’t wait to get started writing for a living.” Check out Dash’s Armstrong Experience for more on his internship work.
College of Arts & Humanities
The College of Arts & Humanities runs a Research Assistants Program with funds set aside from the Complete College Georgia grant. Faculty members select undergraduates to work with them throughout the academic year on their scholarly and creative projects. This unique opportunity shows students what professors do outside the classroom and gives them experience conducting field-specific research. RAs transcribe field notes & letters & oral interviews, summarize primary & secondary literature, read research reports, create genealogy charts, analyze data, create maps, compile bibliographies, adapt citations, and identify photographs. Students develop new skills and make close connections with their mentors. All CoLA RAs meet monthly with the UR Coordinator to discuss relevant topics and build relationships with each other. Many RAs create their own independent studies with their professors and pursue a sub-field area of interest to delve into their own questions. All RAs present their findings at the Student Scholars Symposium in April. For guidelines and requirements, see the RA Handbook and other links here. For information about current RA positions available, please follow the Human Resources link below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Bates ’15
Being an undergraduate Research Assistant (RA) has been an amazing experience for me. Under the guidance of Dr. Lara Wessel, I have acquired the necessary skills to conduct academic research on a professional level while getting paid for it. Our current research undertaking is an ambitious project of measuring agenda effectiveness of all post-Cold-War, two-term U.S. Presidents (Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama). In short, our research focuses on each president’s capability to accomplish their agenda priorities, in light of identified constraints, as stated in their State of the Union addresses and measured through their Weekly addresses. At this moment, our research is still ongoing with the intent to be ready for publishing in spring 2016. This will be a major professional accomplishment for me that would not have been possible without the undergraduate RA program at Armstrong.
It is through participating in the Undergrad Research Assistant program at Armstrong that I have found a genuine mentor in Dr. Wessel. Additionally, through the exceptional facilitation of the program by Dr. Allison Belzer, I have been given the opportunity to attend RA sessions that focused on how to create my professional profile for potential employers through Career Services, how to utilize research resources at Lane Library, and how to effectively present papers at academic conferences. I definitely recommend this program to any student who is serious about their academics and career path, especially for those considering graduate school.
Justin Farquhar ’15
Being a research assistant was a great experience that opened the door to a lot of opportunities for me. I worked with the Department Head of my department as well as some other professors on various research projects over my time as a research assistant. I now have one paper that has been sent off to be reviewed for publication and two other papers that are almost ready for review as a direct result of my work in the Economics Department. Additionally, Armstrong paid for me and the other research assistants in the Economics Department to go present our research at a conference in Jacksonville, which was a lot of fun. I was also invited to attend various events such as the annual Savannah Economic Outlook Luncheon downtown. On top of all that, I was given first pick on internships and was able to land a paid one that allowed me to quit my job at Little Caesars. That being said, the greatest perk that came with the job was the personal relationships I was able to build with my professors. Being a research assistant helped me develop myself as a scholar and also guided me along the path to figuring out what I wanted to do after I finished my undergraduate degree. My only regret is that I didn’t take the job sooner!
Want to get involved with your own undergraduate research project? Students can help a faculty member with his or her research and scholarship or they can find a mentor to help them investigate their own research questions. Download the Faculty Research Interests list to see what faculty members are doing and how you can connect your interests with theirs. Contact each faculty member directly for more details about arranging undergraduate research opportunities. The list includes general research topics and prerequisites. Note that some faculty are not currently taking on new students.
In close collaboration with faculty, Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus students engage in a wide variety of projects that have an impact far beyond the confines of the classroom. In field and research trips around the region, students engage in hands-on learning. Investigating the rich culture and history of the Savannah area promotes student engagement in civic life; seeing themselves as scholars opens undergraduates’ eyes to the new roles they can play in the wider world. Everyone benefits from the close connections made between faculty mentors and undergraduate researchers.
All Georgia Southern undergraduate students at the Armstrong campus are eligible for UR grants to fund academic research and creative projects done in concert with a faculty mentor for academic credit or as part of a research assistantship. For more information and to apply for a grant visit https://research.georgiasouthern.edu/ugrs/.
Guide to Undergraduate Research Journals (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus Academic Journals
Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus’s student literary and art journal allows students to publish original short stories, short poems and visual art. The Calliope advisor is Dr. Robert Terry (email@example.com).
Multidisciplinary, National UR Journals
Papers and Pubs is an open access peer-reviewed online and print journal of undergraduate research. Papers and Pubs is published by the University Press of North Georgia and supported by the Center of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities at North Georgia College & State University. Papers and Pubs promotes student learning by disseminating undergraduate research and creative works that make an intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline or to applied practice.
Submissions for the current volume of P&P have closed, but manuscripts are welcomed on a continual basis. The deadline for our next volume will be February 28th, 2019. Students are invited to submit original work that has been presented at a conference, showcase, or capstone course either on their own campus or at a regional/national conference site. Original research papers and creative works are welcome from all departments and disciplines.
The PUR is a multidisciplinary journal that accepts papers from around the world. In turn, hardcopies of the journal are distributed nationwide and the published papers are available via this website. Submissions are accepted continually throughout the year.
Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research is an online, peer-reviewed journal, dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate student research. The journal welcomes academic articles from all disciplinary areas. For their first issue of a volume the deadline for submission is January 1, and the deadline for issue two is July 1 each year.
Specialized National Undergraduate Research Journals
The JUE is an online publication for undergraduate academic writing. It has crossovers with anthropology, sociology, American studies, urban studies as well as programs in education or marketing. They have two submission deadlines each year, January 31st and July 31st.
Art, Music and Theatre
Analecta is the official Literary and Fine Arts Journal at The University of Texas at Austin. Analecta features a manifold collection of poetry, prose (both essays and fiction), dramatic works and visual arts. The submission period runs annually from October to December.
University of California: Riverside’s annual art & lit publication, run by UCR undergraduates. Rolling submission, but to be considered for their current working issue, submissions need to be in by the end of January.
History Matters: an Undergraduate Journal of Historical Research is an electronic journal published annually by the department of history at Appalachian State University. Check again soon for an updated submission deadline.
The Vanderbilt Historical Review is a student run, undergraduate history journal. The Review strives to provide a forum that is dedicated to facilitating dialogue on topics relating to history and historiography. Working closely with the history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, we showcase the exceptional work of students through our academic journal and shorter articles on our blog.
Criminal Justice, Society and Political Science
The Dialectics is an electronic journal devoted to undergraduate scholarship and discourse. The Journal welcomes high quality essays on issues of public importance. Deadline: Papers will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
An edition of the ISSR appears each summer and another appears each winter. Each edition contains about four peer-reviewed articles. Each edition also contains about 15 book reviews, which are written by scholars and carefully polished for publication by the book-review editor and the editor-in-chief. Deadline for submissions for publication in the spring edition is January 15 and for the fall edition is June 15.
Languages, Literature and Philosophy
A nationwide literary magazine dedicated exclusively to undergraduate works of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork. Published annually, the periodical showcases some of the best literature the nation’s undergraduates have to offer.
The Susquehanna Review annually features works of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry written by undergraduates from across the United States. Submissions are accepted all year; however there are various deadlines for different submissions to be considered for a specific issue. Visit their website to find out all of the submission guideline details.
Misc. UR Publications
University of North Georgia
Getting Published includes a list of campus-wide and nationwide journals and magazines devoted to undergraduate work. These are not the same places where professors publish, but they provide outlets for students to share their work with a much larger audience. In addition to the prestige gained from being a published author, an undergraduate student who publishes his or her work sharpens writing skills, learns about the process of revision and builds a better resume. Employers and graduate schools recognize that it takes a strong commitment to get a project published.
Get inspired: browse your area of study to see what other undergraduates are researching and writing about. See what publications might be the right place for you to publish your masterpieces.
For article submission and complete submission guidelines, see: http://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/papersandpubs/
Creating an engaging poster (traditional science)
PosterTemplate (non-discipline specific)
Research Support Henderson Library
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