Hey there!

My name is Kara, and I am a first-year student and undergraduate researcher in MRADS. I plan to major in Computer Engineering and minor in German. For my MRADS research project, I am developing prototypes and control algorithms for the “22/26 Midwest,” a net-zero building concept for the climate condition of the Midwestern United States. Enough about me, though. Today, I’m going to give you a glimpse into the extensive support network that MRADS has to offer! 

For starters, we have outstanding faculty, many of whom have offices inside MoJo, our residence hall. I’ll introduce you to some of them! There’s Dr. Simon, the MRADS Director and professor of ALA 104 (Intro to Research), the one credit class all MRADS students take together in the fall semester. Dr. Simon offers valuable insights into both research and life in general. In his own words, he’s always there when your “[stuff] hits the fan.” Then, there’s Dr. J', the Associate Director of MRADS. Dr. J' is responsible for the daunting task that is organizing the majority of MRADS events. She is a wonderful person to talk to if you need help with time management or navigating life in general. Finally, we have Grant, our Research Engagement Student Coordinator. Grant directly supervises MRADS Peer Mentors and Recruitment Team. As an incoming Peer Mentor for 2024-2025, and as a current Recruitment Team member, I have found Grant to be an amazing supervisor and source of guidance. 

Next, we have Peer Mentors (PMs)! PMs are former first-year students in MRADS (mostly sophomores and juniors) who help current first-year students transition to college life and be successful in their personal, professional, and academic endeavors. PMs meet monthly with their mentees and host fun PM connection events. If you are an incoming first-year reading this, I just might be your PM next year—I can’t wait to meet and support you all!

Next, we have Peer Advisors (PAs), who, just like PMs, are former first-year students in MRADS. PAs provide in-house MRADS research advising and project support for first-year students. PAs also host alumni/research seminars, help first-years prepare for their Research Symposium, and meet with their advisees once a month to ensure their professional development and academic success. Without my PA, Vivica, I don’t think I would have been as confident in my ability to find and maintain a research project—she helped me a great deal!

Last but not least, we have Resident Advisors (RAs)! RAs are not unique to MRADS (there are RAs in every dorm), but all MRADS RAs are former first-year MRADS students. RAs help create a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for MoJo residents and also plan fun events in and around MoJo. RAs meet with residents once per semester to ensure they have a positive experience.

That just about does it for your MRADS support network! There are so many people, resources, and experiences available to you as an MRADS scholar. We are here to help you at every step of the way on your journey! I hope this has been helpful to you, whether you have already applied to MRADs or are considering applying. Thank you for reading!