SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – After committing to Syracuse University with the similar ambitions to be involved in undergraduate research, Gabrielle Samulewicz and Caroline Baggeroer, senior Neuroscience majors, says SU helped those dreams turn into plans.
“I think one of the most unique opportunities for undergraduate stem majors here at Syracuse university is the ability to work in a research lab. Just because they’re undergraduates doesn’t mean that they actually can’t rise to the occasion,” Dr. Sandra Hewett, SU’s Beverly Petterson Bishop Professor of Neuroscience at SU said.
Dr. Hewett recognized Samuelwitz and Baggeroer’s commitment and interest to their research and after offering them a position in the Hewett Laboratory, she now works closely with each of them.
“They have the opportunity to conceive of an idea and take it all the way from this conceptual idea to literally creating the experiments, the ideas for the experiments, working on the experiments, analyzing data and writing it up,” Dr. Hewett said.
The opportunity to do this work is made possible for the students not only with the help of Dr. Hewett, but also SU’s undergraduate research center, known as the SOURCE.
Over one million dollars has been committed by upper administration to this center, which funds grants for students who start their own independent research projects.
“They provide funding opportunities to all different disciplines. All of the seniors in our lab applied to those grants for the academic year,” Baggeroer said. “So we got our projects funded by the university which is an amazing opportunity, and it also gave us the opportunity to write a project narrative and proposal and really understand the story that our scientific work is telling.”
So, not only are these students learn lab techniques, but also scientific writing, which is proving to be significant to their post graduate careers.
“All of the seniors in this lab right now are working on our own individual papers that will be published, which is a lot more than other students at other universities can say,” Samulewicz said. “So to go on to the next step after this education, with a paper published in our name, will be really awesome.”
Samulewicz and Baggeroer will both be graduating as first authors on published Neuroscience papers, and both plan to attend graduate school.
“So make no mistakes. Our undergraduates are not here just doing fluff project,” Dr. Hewett said. “These are federally funded research projects that are contributing to the intellectually scientific environment of our nation.”