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Student Research Experiences (SRE) Examples

The range of Student Research Experiences possible is vast.

Students will be exposed to research, creative, and scholarly work through course embedded experiences, and may go on to work independently with faculty or graduate students to identify an Advance SRE of distinction that fits their major and interest.

Student Research Experiences examples

Undergraduate students present their project at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate students, Jordan Grider, Soundharya Dhanabal, and Shelby Meche present their project, Comparison of the Protein Structures of Mamalian Caspases, at the 2024 National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Long Beach!

Undergraduate Student Wins First Place at National Conference

 UL Lafayette undergraduate, Kirstin Wilson, placed first at the Research Association of Minority Professors (RAMP) conference in Washington D.C.

Kirstin's presentation, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Their Effects on the Brain in African American Children, focuses on ACEs, which are defined as traumatic events in a child’s life from birth to 17 years of age. The adverse effects of ACEs are highest in African American communities (Zhang X, Monnat SM, 2021). ACEs can take a toll on a child's development, mental health, and education when he or she is categorized as high-risk. The toxic stress caused by ACEs can lead to permanent damage to the brain (Nakazawa, 2015, p. 32). This damage affects the child's present reality, such as their education and psychological development, and their future adult health unless intervention methods and protective factors take place.

View Kirstin's proposal here.


The Benefits of Teaching and Taking a CURE Course

A Course Embedded Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE), is creative in design to improve how faculty present course content, to collaborate across disciplines, and to modify course activities in order for undergraduates to apply professional knowledge.

Collaborative departmental efforts between Dr. Roxanne Bourque (College of Education and Human Development) and Dr. Zachary Stein (Interim Assistant Dean of Technical Services/Assistant Professor in University Libraries) reframed course activities to extend traditional course content knowledge for EDCI 308 Children’s Literature. In order to expand an initial task of research to fill a missing gap for classroom instructional materials, they became cultural researchers of their own childhood stories. This is where the authenticity of learning becomes real to the learner. Creative scholarship supported preservice teachers to develop a deeper commitment to the future populations of children who they will teach, to be mindful of social justice and equity through cultural language, history, and a deeper understanding of regional life. Bourque states, “We must think beyond traditional measures to include a more robust experiential connection to support learning. A CURE presents an emergent model that may be applied to most undergraduate courses in business, education, sciences, the arts, and beyond.”

What began as a traditional Children’s Literature course, transformed into a rich opportunity for professionalism and creative scholarship. The problem: to explore a missing gap in Louisiana Children’s Literature, which led to an undergraduate semester task and cultural research of childhood experiences in south Louisiana.

See the project below.
Abington-Pitre, A. S., & Bourque, R. M. (2021). Missing Voices Within the Classroom: Cultural Identity, Lexical, and Authenticity in Cajun, Creole, and Native American Children’s Literature.
Journal of Literacy Innovation, 6(1), 42-56.

Read more here.

Undergraduates Publish Research in Scientific Reports Journal

We are excited to announce the publication of a new study by members of Dr. James Albert’s (Department of Biology) lab on the diversity and evolution of body shape in Louisiana fishes. This paper was published on November 24, 2023, in the prestigious journal, Scientific Reports.

This project was led by UL Lafayette PhD student Kevin Torgersen, and is especially notable for the participation of four Undergraduate student co-authors, all in the Department of Biology: Bradley Bouton, Alyx Hebert, Noah Kleyla and Garrett Rolf. Each of these students contributed substantially to the project design, data acquisition and analysis, manuscript preparation, and public dissemination of results.

Aspects of this work were presented by Alyx Hebert at the 2022 UL Lafayette Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS), by Noah Kleyla at the 2023 LSU Discover Day, by Bradley Bouton at the 2023 LSU Discover Day, and by Bradley Bouton at the 2023 UL Lafayette Advance Undergraduate Research Conference.

This work was made possible by logistical and financial support from several units and people at UL Lafayette. Special thanks to the Advance program (Dr. Sherry Krayesky-Self), Department of Biology (Dr. Paul Leberg), Ray P. Authement College of Sciences (Dr. Azmy Ackleh, Dr. Ashok Kumar), Graduate School (Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser), and the UL Lafayette Research Office (Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, Dr. Kumar Das).

Additionally, work on the larger project continues, with contributions from additional UL Lafayette undergraduate students. We are looking forward to several additional published papers with undergraduate student co-authors in the coming year.

Please view the project here.

Undergraduate Gives Talk About Her Research

Architecture student Emily LeBlanc presents her project, Greg Guirard: Capturing Life inside the Atchafalaya Basin. Emily showcases an ARCGIS story map that displays the various creative mediums Greg Guirard used throughout his life as an Atchafalaya Basin resident, and as a photographer, author, and activist. Greg Guirard’s interesting perspective touches on the amazing sense of community and culture in the Basin. Guirard’s work continues to educate readers and spread awareness for the preservation of the Atchafalaya Basin.

Undergraduate Student Presents at International Conference

Undergradaute student, Abigail Stillwell, presented her project, Advancing Phonetic Transcription Skills for Communicative Disorders: Training SLPs with Live Data, at the Communication, Medicine & Ethics (COMET) conference in Cork, Ireland. "Abigail fielded feedback from the audience admirably," per Dr. Elena Babatsouli.

Students Present Their Work at BURS

Every Spring semester Dr. William Schmidt, Biology Senior Instructor, hosts the Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS). This gives undergraduate bioloy majors a free opportunity to present their research and learn from other's. 

Undergraduate Students Invited to Present at the ULS Academic Summit

Every Spring semester, a select group of undergraduate students are invited to represent UL Lafayette at the Universities of Louisiana System Academic Summit. These students have presented their work at our Undergraduate Research Conference in the Fall semester. The summit celebrates the research, creativity, and scholarship of students from all institutions in the University of Louisiana System.

This year the summit was held at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

The following undergraduate students represented UL Lafayette in 2024.

Robert Rees Boulanger, Physics major
Emily DeGruise, Psychology major, Chemistry minor
Amani Dobard, Biology major, Chemistry minor
Moiz Fazal-ur-Rehman, Biology major, Chemistry minor
Jessica Fiser, Biology major, Chemistry minor
Lily Guidry, Chemistry major, Biology minor
Sydnee Johnson, Accounting major
Brielle Jones, Psychology major, Human Development & Family Science minor
Cody Smith, Psychology major, Criminal Justice minor
Awais Tariq, Biology major, Chemistry minor
Kirstin Wilson, Elementary Education Gr 1-5 major