MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Sanchez Lanier, assistant vice provost, 509-335-2321, sanchez@wsu.edu.

Beverly Makhani, director of communications and marketing, WSU Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, 509-432-3430, makhani@wsu.edu.

PULLMAN, Wash.—A recent anonymous gift of $34,000 to Washington State University’s Office of Undergraduate Research will fund scholarships for students  in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors who are engaged in mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities, Mary Sanchez Lanier, assistant vice provost, said.

Without such awards, some of our students might not have the time to engage in mentored research because  they otherwise need to seek, and devote time to, external jobs to meet financial obligations associated with college attendance, she said.

“We are very grateful to this generous donor for supporting STEM students and recognizing that undergraduate research is an important activity that adds great value to every student’s education,” she said.

“With this support, we will be able to provide awards to many students and that will make a difference that will be felt university-wide.”

Sharing their research and results is required for WSU students receiving awards from the Office of Undergraduate Research. Each spring, they must share their work and efforts in distinct categories at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA). Judges evaluate around 200 students’ presentations, and prizes are awarded to top presenters—from new to experienced researchers.  Presentation at SURCA increases the benefits of the student’s scholarship by adding value to their STEM degree, such as experience in communicating STEM research, said Sanchez.

The Office of Undergraduate Research is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA), part of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

Mentors, Travel to Professional Meetings, Ongoing Research

The new funds will also support many STEM students’ endeavors related to research. That could include awards to participate in industry or professional meetings, and to serve as peer mentors to other researchers.

“Every award made from this gift will have an important and immediate effect on the success of our STEM students.”

Student Research at WSU

Undergraduate research is a popular, high-impact pursuit for many WSU students. A full 25 percent of all WSU seniors consistently report that they have engaged in undergraduate research with a faculty mentor, according to recent pools administered by the independent National Survey for Student Engagement.

Students from all majors, on all campuses, in every year of their undergraduate program engage in research, scholarship, and creative activities. Undergraduate research, by definition, consists of efforts that lead to new knowledge in a field, or reinforces already existing knowledge.

The Office of Undergraduate Research also offers special courses to introduce prospective researchers to the details of the work, and helps to organize summer research experiences for students from across the nation who come to WSU to participate in a variety of projects led by top professors.

Supporting Undergraduate Research

At every step of the way, students who engage in research can benefit from financial support. Contributions to the Undergraduate Research Development Fund have the ability to make a tremendous impact on the scope and quality of students learning experiences across all of the university.

To learn more about how you can contribute to the fund, visit our Support Us webpage.