Teaching Excellence Seminar:
Paths to Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring
Ann Kingsolver, USC Department of Anthropology
John Lavigne, USC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Stephen Morgan, USC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
September 28, 2007
Undergraduate research at USC has become more than just an option for students - research and scholarly experiences have become a core learning opportunity for many USC undergraduates. These activities take students beyond the classroom in exploring questions of importance to their fields of study and of practical relevance to society. Participation in undergraduate research positions students competitively for graduate education and expands their horizons for job opportunities after school.
Mentoring students in research is a challenging but rewarding activity for faculty. Projects at USC range from internally funded studies (such as the Magellan Scholar program supported by the USC Undergraduate Office of Research) to larger externally funded projects. This seminar on mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research will be led by the three professors who received this year’s undergraduate research mentor awards. Three USC undergraduates currently involved in research will also comment on benefits they have gained from their experiences. Following brief presentations, there will be an open discussion.
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Topic Relevant Information
- Guidelines for Preparing Research Reports for Undergraduate Research or Independent Study.
These guidelines from Dr. Stephen Morgan contain information about organization of the research report and a useful list of references on the topic.
- Best Mentoring Practices and Ideas from NC State University.
This is a good list of suggestions about the mentor's role.
About the Presenters
Stephen L. Morgan (Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of South Carolina/Columbia) received a B.S (1971) in chemistry from Duke University and a M.S. (1974) and Ph.D. (1975) in analytical chemistry from Emory University. His research in forensic chemistry, statistics in chemistry, and analytical separations has produced over 100 publications and four books. Dr. Morgan has mentored over 100 undergraduates and 40 graduate students since he joined the USC faculty in 1976.
Ann E. Kingsolver (Associate Professor, Anthropology Department, USC Columbia) received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts / Amherst, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. For over twenty years, she has been researching interpretations of globalization in the U.S., Mexico, and Sri Lanka. She has written or edited three books, and is general editor of the Anthropology of Work Review. Her students regularly present their own work at national meetings, and publish collaboratively. Dr. Kingsolver received a Michael J. Mungo Graduate Teaching Award at USC in 2002, and a Fulbright Lecture/Research Award in 2004.
John J. Lavigne (Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, USC Columbia) received a B.S in chemistry and a M.Ed. from St. Lawrence University before completing his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Lavigne’s work uses self-assembling organic materials to create novel sensors for detecting small biologically important molecules, such as those associated with food spoilage, as well as for building new molecular architectures for gas storage and separation. In his first five years at USC, he has mentored 8 graduate students and 13 undergraduates. For his efforts with undergraduate, he was awarded the Golden Key Faculty Award for Creative Integration of Research and Teaching in 2007.
Christina S. Baraty is a senior biology major, with minors in chemistry and medical humanities, who plans to attend medical school after graduation in May 2008. Not only has she carried out research at USC but also at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany and at the NIH Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Magellan Scholar and has received the George W. Waring Memorial Scholarship as well as placing 2nd in the Undergraduate Polymer Poster competition at the National meeting of the American Chemical Society (Spring 2007).
Anna Handley plans to graduate from USC in May 2008 with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Religious Studies. At USC, she is a Cooper Scholar and has received a Dobson Volunteer Service Scholarship, a Tom Schultz Memorial Scholarship, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for study in South Africa. For research on improving medical interpretation services for monolingual Spanish speakers in South Carolina, she received a Magellan Scholarship jointly with Mary Allison Joseph (a Spanish major). Ms. Handley and Ms. Joseph have submitted an article on their findings to the national journal Practicing Anthropology.
Heather Taylor, a senior majoring in chemistry, Russian, and criminal justice, is a Magellan Scholar. She and another undergraduate student from the Morgan laboratory, Jennifer Yiu, won the Millikan award for the best poster ("Systematic investigations of Environmental effects on textile fibers for forensic fiber examinations") at the USC Discovery Day undergraduate research poster competition in spring 2006.