A student research club within the newly piloted Undergraduate Ambassadors Program will be attending and volunteering at the Celebration of Scholarship on Thursday, April 23.
Co-presidents Alexandria Ebert, of Appleton, and Kyle Dobson, of New Berlin, started URECA! (Undergraduate Research Experiences and Creative Activities), to promote research projects that students are working on to a larger audience. URECA! will serve to increase student awareness of URSCA (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities) at UW Oshkosh.
“We want to provide an avenue for students to get information from mentors on how to go about getting involved in projects, getting grants for ongoing projects and the various ways in which students at UWO can pursue research,” they said.
The Oshkosh Student Scholarly and Creative Activities Program (OSSCAP) launched the Undergraduate Research Ambassadors program in March.
Ebert and Dobson were two of 10 ambassadors appointed to the program. They will be working with history professor Stephen Kercher and Nana Adjoa Coleman, a graduate student.
The process for selecting the ambassadors was competitive. The students had to apply and were chosen based on experience and the research they had done within and outside of the classroom.
The 10 students chosen were: Christopher Christopherson, of Green Bay; Dobson; Ebert; Dylan King, of Two Rivers; VeiJzahn Knight, of Oshkosh; Samantha Mitchell, of Oshkosh; Christina Nelson, of Fond du Lac; Kelly Szczepanski, of Sobieski; Devin Venden, of Waterloo; and Molly Wirz, of Eau Claire.
OSSCAP Board Chair Jonathan Gutow said the Office of Student Scholarly and Creative Activities (OSSCA) does the administrative work, such as funding, to help run the ambassadors program.
Gutow said students can apply for funds from OSSCA for the summer, the school semesters or for grants for materials needed for their research projects.
Kercher, who also is the faculty adviser for URECA!, said the club is a great way for students to do research above and beyond the “boundaries” of their major.
“It’s not just about encouraging students in different disciplines to pursue research, but it’s also about getting students to understand the exciting possibilities that exist in other disciplines,” Kercher said.
URECA! was formed to recognize the opportunities outside the classroom that UWO has to offer. Ebert and Dobson wanted an easier way for students to engage with professors with research and creative activities.
“We would like to create a network of support for students who are interested in, or may already be involved in, scholarly activities while also uniting and facilitating the exploration of the projects created by peers of every major at UWO,” they said.
Kercher said the club and the ambassadors program represent the University’s values well.
“We are a comprehensive university,” Kercher said. “And that means a university that not only engages in teaching but also research, and these people chosen as ambassadors really do exemplify what our best students are doing, which is not just taking classes but engaging in research… That’s what a university is and that’s what we do.”