Undergraduate Research Day, October 1, 2009
Undergraduate Research Day is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, and this truly is a celebration- a celebration of students, a celebration of faculty mentors, and a celebration of the University of Houston. Today we honor the 44 students that participated in the 2009 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, as well as the achievements of all undergraduates that conducted substantive research projects within the past year. For the students presenting at Undergraduate Research Day today, we applaud your achievements. We recognize that research can be challenging, tedious, and at times frustrating, Conducting research as an undergraduate, however, is invaluable in many ways. It offers you the opportunity to think independently, creatively and critically-encouraging and cultivating freedom of thought. Research also allows you to make a contribution to your field, and to discover new knowledge. It is perhaps one of the best ways to get to know faculty in your field and to develop lifelong mentorships with them. These experiences also acquaint you with graduate and undergraduate students in your field; colleagues and friends we hope you will stay in contact with for the years to come. We also applaud the faculty mentors of the students presenting today. By devoting your time and energies in supporting these undergraduates, you are guiding and nurturing our future leaders. Through your involvement, you have enlightened our undergraduates and given them confidence in their abilities and in what they are capable of achieving in the future. We also are thankful for the faculty who served as speakers in our SURF Brown Bag Lecture Series (visit page 29 for details). Through these lecturers' contributions, the SURF program provides students with insights that will help them be successful as both undergraduate researchers and as future graduate students or members of the professional workforce. This series is truly integral to the success of our summer research program. Our selection committee is also instrumental to the success of the Office of Undergraduate Research. In addition to the challenging role of reviewing the many applications we receive for our scholarship and fellowship programs, the committee also provides us with guidance on improving and modifying our office's policies and procedures. We are so grateful to them for their contributions. Last but certainly not least, we would like to extend our gratitude to the divisions and colleges that sup-port our office each year. Through the funding from the Provost's office, the Office of the Vice President for Research, The Honors College, the Cullen College of Engineering, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the College of Technology and the College of Pharmacy we are able to directly enrich the academic lives of over 150 undergraduates each year through mentored research programs. Thanks to all of you for celebrating this exciting day with us, and for supporting our undergraduate researchers.