Molly Grant (2015-2016 Peer Advisor)
My name is Molly Grant and I am a sophomore from Bay City, MI studying Political Science. I have always had an interest in American politics, so naturally it was a priority for me to attend a college that promotes and facilitates undergraduate social science research. Michigan was the only school I applied to that accounted for organized first year research opportunities. MRC has truly allowed me to grow both as an undergraduate researcher and a young professional. For example, I presented a poster of the project I assisted on in Spokane, WA at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Not only was I able to share my experience with other undergraduates, but it opened my eyes to the many academic routes I could take with research. Additionally, because MRC instilled research skills in me so early in my undergraduate career, I am able to begin work on an Honors thesis a whole year ahead of schedule. My experience with MRC has been everything I was looking for in a school: A close community of friends, first year research experience, and a gateway to further exploring my interests and career path.
Mia Garrard (2015-2016 Peer Advisor) | NCUR Reflections
During my freshman year of college I had the privilege of experiencing many great things: lectures by world renowned intellectuals, an interactive performance arts piece composed of thirty plays in sixty minutes, and (among many others) a theater production based on binary code. Yet, I can say, without a doubt, that the most transformative experience was traveling to The National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) with my peers to present our respective research projects. After dedicating a significant portion of my year to research, having the opportunity to share my work with both my colleagues at the University of Michigan and at universities across the nation was truly rewarding.
Immediately after arriving at the conference, we attended a beautiful opening plenary that described the positive impact research experience has on students from all backgrounds. This prompted me to reflect on how fortunate I am to have gotten involved in research as a freshman. Many students that I spoke to at the conference were rising seniors or had recently graduated, and NCUR was the capstone, for some, to their research careers. On the other hand, my Michigan peers were mostly other first year students just beginning their research careers, which allowed the conference to have a more lasting impression personally and professionally. I believe such a strong showing of underclassman by the University of Michigan can be attributed to the presence and success of the Michigan Research Community and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program on our campus.
Hometown: Rockford, MI
Intended Major: electrical engineering.
I have been involved in the research project titled Astronomical Instrumentation where we are developing and testing electric circuit boards and designing encasements using 3-D software for the CHARA array in Mt. Wilson, CA. I love being part of MRC. The support network developed through the study groups as well as all the fun events that the mentors sponsor make MRC a welcoming community and help me with my classes. There are so many research opportunities, and the mentors and advisers work hard to help get first-year students ready for research. MRC helped me adjust to college life, and I am looking forward to helping next year's students as a mentor