Undergraduate Research Day, October 13, 2011



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Welcome to our seventh annual Undergraduate Research Day. This is an exciting event which celebrates the achievements of the 54 students who participated in the 2011 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, as well as the many other undergraduates who completed mentored research projects during the past year. Although all of you are pursuing a wide range of projects in a variety of fields, you actually have a lot in common. You all have worked extremely hard and are completely dedicated to your research projects. You all have encountered obstacles and frustrations along the way, but found ways to overcome them, building a resiliency that will serve you well in the rest of your educational efforts and really for the rest of your life. You also all seem to genuinely relish your work. As demonstrated here today, many of you get really excited when talking about your research and take pride in what you have accomplished. 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 flexibility in 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 thank our researchers' faculty mentors. Through the time and energy that you give to these students, you are helping to produce the next genera-tion of leaders. By guiding their work, you are pro-viding an environment in which they can flourish and grow more confident of future successes. We also are thankful for the faculty who served as speakers in our SURF Brown Bag Lecture Series (visit page 35 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 units that support our office each year. Through the funding from the Provost's office, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and The Honors College we are able to directly enrich the academic lives of nearly 200 undergraduates each year through mentored research programs. Thanks to all for celebrating this special day with us, and for your support of our undergraduate researchers at the University of Houston.



Office of Undergraduate Research