Enhancing Professional Development through Vertically-Tiered Undergraduate Research

Authors: Phillipe Wernette*, University of Windsor, Chris Houser, University of Windsor
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: undergraduate research, professional development, mentoring, multidisciplinary
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Studio 3, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Traditional approaches to undergraduate research can be time-intensive for both the mentee and mentor, and can deter potential undergraduates and faculty from participating in research. Similarly, professional development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty are often limited by the traditional undergraduate research approach. Integrating graduate students and postdoctoral fellows into the undergraduate research model as team mentors provides significant academic and professional benefits to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, while enhancing professional development in undergraduate student researchers. These vertically-tiered approaches to undergraduate research promote development of critical thinking skills, effective communication strategies, and networking opportunities through collaboration with other students, professional conference attendance and presentations, and peer-reviewed publications. Students in team-based vertically-tiered undergraduate research programs, such as the Aggie Research Programs at Texas A&M University and a similar program at the University of Windsor, develop enhanced communication skills (visual and verbal) and develop stronger credentials necessary when applying for jobs or graduate school.

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