Getting Ahead of the Curve

When Nicole Thomas remained in high school– just a couple of brief years back– she didn’t know much about research, let alone where it could take her academically and expertly. But the UNLV biology major now has lots of knowledge to share on the topic.

“When I initially began getting involved in research at UNLV, it wasn’t all about blending chemicals and wearing laboratory coats and chuckling maniacally,” she stated. “It had to do with finally having an outlet where I might pursue questions that I always desired addressed.”

Quickly she recognized her fellow students had actually figured that out prior to she had. And they currently had the skills to take advantage of UNLV’s research opportunities.

It’s an observation she showed Liam Frink, executive director of the Office of Undergrad Research (OUR), after joining its undergraduate ambassador program. “I wanted I ‘d had more direct exposure to research study when I was in high school,” she keeps in mind informing him, “because the students who participated in schools with research study or technical programs seemed to be ahead of the game.”

Hence, UNLV’s first-ever OUR Research study Abilities Academy was born.

Becky Boulton (OUR’s program organizer), Thomas, and the OUR team developed a two-day event, happening July 10 and 11, created particularly for local high school trainees that’s packed with a complete schedule of research-related activities. Co-sponsored by the College of Education, this inaugural Research Abilities Academy includes an introduction to research through tours and talks, chances to meet undergraduate and graduate students and first-rate professors scientists, profession development training, and a campus resource fair.

“Others at UNLV are and have been working with local high school trainees; for example, the CAEO is doing great work in this location,” Frink stated. “We wanted to include a concentrate on research study as an expert process to that, however, for several reasons.

“Based upon our speak with students, research study is often perceived of as an unique, ‘elite’ activity– and in some methods it is since it takes resources for a student to commit themselves to the research study procedure– but exactly what we want to highlight with the OUR services is that we and other systems on school will actively support their efforts.

“It is necessary too that trainees and their moms and dads understand that research study skills equate to various career courses, many of them right here in Southern Nevada.”

Thirty trainees representing 15 schools throughout Clark County will be going to the academy.

“We initially contacted 8 Title I schools to truly focus on underrepresented and first-generation university student,” Boulton stated. “Then we started getting call from other schools and individual students wishing to get involved; it seemed the word had spread to everyone. We’ve had an excellent response to this new venture.”

The OUR group is currently partnering with Ed W. Clark High School on a fall mini Research study Abilities Academy.

“Preferably, trainees will make a connection with our school or a member of our professors and wish to become part of all the excellent things occurring at UNLV,” Thomas said.

For more about the services used by the Office of Undergraduate Research, please see UNLV.edu/ OUR.

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