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NSU receives state award for emphasis on undergraduate research

(Tahlequah, Okla.)-- Northeastern State University was honored with the 2015 Spotlight Award for undergraduate research during the Sixth Annual Promoting Undergraduate Research workshop and conference held on Sept. 17 and 18.

Sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE), the award recognizes NSU among the state's universities and colleges for its excellence in promoting current and future undergraduate research endeavors.

These endeavors include immersive learning, extramural grants and funding support and individual student curiosity regarding some of society's most pressing issues, which can only be satisfied through various research methodologies, from surveys to bench science.

Dr. Thomas Jackson, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs Administration at NSU received the award on NSU’s behalf from OSHRE Chancellor Glenn Johnson.

Jackson said having the award sets NSU apart from other Oklahoma universities.

“As NSU is 2015's sole recipient, it represents a singular recognition by the OSRHE and Chancellor Johnson of our exceptional commitment to undergraduate research.

“NSU has a long and ever-expanding emphasis on undergraduate research endeavors.”

Jackson said undergraduate research should be a fundamental part of a student’s education.

“Data indicate that undergraduate students who engage in research are: more likely to graduate, receive higher beginning salaries, stay in Oklahoma and are significantly more likely to further their education through additional graduate or professional school matriculation.”

In addition to providing valuable basic and applied knowledge, researched-based learning results in higher standard of living and quality of life for students and their families and increased economic development for Oklahoma and the surrounding communities.

Among successful undergraduate research activities promoted by NSU is the annual NSU Undergraduate Research Day. This event has seen over 300 posters and talks delivered by over 400 undergraduates, sponsored by approximately 55 faculty mentors.

NSU has also participated in Oklahoma Research Day since its inception, hosting it four times, including this academic year. During Oklahoma Research Day, NSU has been responsible for an average 75-100 posters involving, almost exclusively, undergraduate research. NSU also sends a delegate each year to Research Day at the Capitol. 

Additionally, numerous grant-supported undergraduate research undertakings have occurred over the years at NSU, including IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), summer academies and grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Education and other state and national entities.

Along with the extramurally funded research, a majority of NSU’s undergraduate programs in the natural and social sciences contain programmatic research laboratories which involve undergraduate research.

Finally, over the academic year 2015-2016, two new emphases were enacted. The first is an overall enhanced prominence of undergraduate, graduate and faculty research and scholarly productivity. The second is NSU President Steve Turner's emphasis on immersive learning and the potential of planning an institute in this area which would involve intense undergraduate research programs. 

Taken together, NSU is pleased with its overall undergraduate research endeavors and is positioned to increase the service and training for undergraduate students.

Published: 10/26/2015 2:02:55 PM

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