A total of 40 students are spending their summer as part of the 2019 IUP Research Experiences for Summer Scholars (RESS) program,
examining topics ranging from the water quality of Marsh Run to the importance of sleep for student-athletes to understanding perceptions of gender in political tweets.
Now in its fifth year, the RESS program allows IUP students the opportunity to do research in a field of their choice under the guidance of a faculty member and participate in programs designed to help them develop as researchers and scientists. Events
of the program focus on research experiences, communication, and professional development and networking.
Students in the program are both undergraduates and graduate students, with majors in five different colleges and in the environmental engineering track. Participants in the program, both in number and diversity of majors, continues to grow each year.
This year’s program also includes students working with the STEAMSHOP initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics). STEAMSHOP is an interdisciplinary project to build a digital fabrication lab (makerspace) and innovation hub being
led by Hilliary Creely (School of Graduate Studies and Research) and faculty members Sean Derry and Sharon Massey (art).
In addition to the research projects, students have the opportunity to do informal presentations about their work in progress at the “Presenter Lunch Series,” held in the Hadley Union Building Monongahela Room from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The first Presenter Lunch Series is June 21; it is open to the community. Student presenters for this session will include Patrick Cone and Ian Darragh. Cone will talk about his research with Rachelle Bouchat (mathematics) on the “Graceful Tree” Conjecture in pure mathematics, and Darragh will talk about his research with Katie Farnsworth (geosciences)
on the water quality of Marsh Run.
Additional Presenter Lunch Series programs are scheduled for July 12 and July 26 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The community is also invited to the final event of the program on August 8 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the PNC Room of the Kovalchick Complex. This program will
include a keynote speaker (to be announced) and a poster session by the student researchers.
Rachelle Bouchat (mathematics) is the lead coordinator of the program, working with Justin Fair (chemistry), the original director of the program. RESS 2019 officially
launched on June 4 with an informal meet and greet, with students doing short presentations about their research topics. In addition to the Presenter Lunch programs, there is a session discussing resumes and curriculum vitaes (June 26) and a program
about research posters (July 17),
The RESS program is open to students in all disciplines who are engaged in original inquiry-based research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. Students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average to be accepted into the program. Financial support is
“The RESS program affords IUP students a competitive advantage on many fronts,” Bouchat said. “It offers students experience doing research in their field, it adds to a resume for a future job, improves chances of getting into graduate school, and increases
a student’s confidence in relating information.” The RESS is modeled after the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates programs.
“Nationally, REU programs are seen as one of the most valuable summer experiences students can participate in, yet the acceptance rate for most REU programs is only around three percent,” Fair said. “Through the RESS program, IUP can offer IUP students
from any major the chance to participate in a cutting-edge experience that links knowledge and skills learned in coursework to real-work research and societal problems. Students who have participated in past years have presented their research both
nationally and internationally and have published with their research advisor in journals and books.”
The program has drawn impressive keynote presenters, who are doing cutting-edge work:
The 2019 RESS program participants, their majors, faculty mentors and topics are: