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Providing Student Opportunities That Also Help You Succeed

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.432.1 - 4.432.6

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Paper Authors

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Melinda J. Piket-May

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Julie Chang

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James Avery

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 0575

Providing Student Opportunities That Also Help You Succeed

Melinda J. Piket-May, Julie L. Chang, James P. Avery University of Colorado at Boulder

I. Introduction

As a new faculty member, it is important to get a solid start by making good choices. One important choice is the selection of graduate and undergraduate students to aid you in your research and the follow up publication of your research in peer reviewed journal papers. This paper will discuss some of the common characteristics and attitudes we have found useful in identifying student research assistants with potential.

The inclusion of undergraduate students in research projects will be discussed. Undergraduate research can be rewarding for both the advisor as well as the student. The mentoring needed for working with undergraduate students goes beyond that of an undergraduate academic advisor. In addition, the relationship between advisor and student may differ considerably when compared to the relationships with graduate students because most undergraduate students will choose not to pursue a graduate degree and therefore have different life goals. Not only will involving undergraduate students in your research benefit you, but the involvement will make the students undergraduate experience more meaningful.

Time management in mentoring undergraduate and graduate researchers will be woven into the overall discussions. This is an area that may cause burnout for new faculty if they don’t pay attention to it. The transition from graduate student to new faculty is truly a challenging one. Finding students (like you used to be) is an essential step, and then mentoring them towards fulfillment for both you and them is a learning process. New faculty accustomed to doing it all themselves often have a hard time handing project ownership over to students.

During this talk, we will encourage an open discussion to provide feedback on specific issues that new faculty may have run into. While many of the points made in this paper seem like common sense, challenge yourself to see if you are following common sense on an everyday basis. It is easy to say the following ideas are obvious, what is not obvious is how to implement them on a day to day basis.

II. Characteristics of successful student researchers

We have identified some general characteristics that can be used to distinguish students with research potential. It is often easier to find students if you begin by selecting from students whom you know personally from class or who have been strongly recommended by other faculty, as opposed to choosing students based purely on their transcripts and school applications. Some of the best research students may not have the best grade point averages (GPAs). GPAs are often not indicative of the quality research work a student can do since these

Piket-May, M. J., & Chang, J., & Avery, J. (1999, June), Providing Student Opportunities That Also Help You Succeed Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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