MSU opens new Office of Undergraduate Research

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By Thomas Waters, II, EdM

In September 2020, Morgan State University (MSU) illustrated their steadfast commitment to undergraduate student success by creating a brand-new office: the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). The mission of the OUR is to promote and support a culture of faculty-mentored scientific, entrepreneurial, and creative inquiry within the undergraduate community at Morgan State University (MSU).

Lisa Brown, Ph.D.,                         

Lisa Brown, Ph.D., associate chair and an associate professor in the department of biology,leads the office, with the assistance of Thomas Waters, Jr. Together, they offer high-impact academic programming, experiential learning, and graduate school/career-readiness opportunities for all students at MSU who wish to enhance their education by engaging in undergraduate research. As such, the ASCEND Student Research Center (SRC) will now fall under the Office of Undergraduate Research and will eventually transition to support students pursuing a wide array of majors, not only biomedical and health-related ones.

 Thomas Waters Jr.

Within a few short months, Brown and Waters have focused their efforts on internal and external relationships. They helped facilitate and assess MSU’s 3rd Annual Graduate Careers Conference; partnered with two other Baltimore City research universities to expand undergraduate research activity engagement through  a cross-institutional seminar series and funded research experience; and, they began implementing new processes to promote sustained recruitment and retention of SRC members. Currently, they are evaluating the possibility of hosting MSU’s first-ever virtual, institution-wide undergraduate research symposium in spring 2021, as long as undergraduate students have the capacity to conduct faculty-mentored research in light of COVID-19 campus restrictions. Under Waters and Brown’s leadership, the OUR is off to a great start, and Morgan State University is looking forward to future initiatives and the opportunities for undergraduates that they will facilitate.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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