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Strategic Use of Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

General Topics in Graduate Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1177.1 - 25.1177.13



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Paper Authors


Matthew Pariyothorn Texas A&M University

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Matthew Pariyothorn currently serves as the Program Coordinator for graduate studies and recruitment for the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University.  In his position he encourages undergraduates to pursue graduate education and promotes engineering graduate degree programs at various recruiting events.  He also coordinates summer research experiences for high-achieving undergraduates (USRG and NSF-REU) and high school math and science teachers (NSF-RET). Pariyothorn also assists with graduate academic affairs and advising issues in the college. In addition to recruitment, academic affairs, and program coordination, Pariyothorn has a passion for student affairs. He serves as university advisor to the Philippine Student Association (PhilSA) and Beta Tau Omega (BTO), an Asian-interest fraternity. Pariyothorn completed a B.S. in industrial/organizational psychology (business minor), M.S. in management (human resource management emphasis) from the Mays Business School, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in human resource development, all from Texas A&M University. His research interests include workplace mentoring relationships, career development, and graduate school recruitment.

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Robin L. Autenrieth Texas A&M University

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Strategic Use of Undergraduate Summer Research ExperiencesSeveral studies identify the benefits of participating in undergraduate research before completionof a bachelor’s degree. One such benefit is the increased likelihood of pursuing a graduateeducation. Coordinators of undergraduate research programs play an important role in ensuringthat this increase occurs by providing resources (e.g. seminars, workshops, speakers) andmaintaining communications during and after the research program. Graduate recruiters andfaculty have a similarly important role of recruiting these students to their university/program bycommunicating with students who have participated in summer research at their university andthe undergraduates at their university who have participated in summer research elsewhere.The Dwight Look College of Engineering (COE) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) uses thisgraduate recruitment model through the Undergraduate Summer Research Grant Program(USRG). The USRG is modeled after and designed to satisfy the objectives of the NationalScience Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU); however, funding isprovided by the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Not only are domestic undergraduatesconsidered, but also international undergraduates. The USRG is unique in that it serves as anumbrella to other summer research programs within the COE at varying levels such asrecruitment, coordination of professional development seminars, and assessments. Summerresearch programs include the NSF-REUs, NSF-REU supplements, and students funded throughtheir respective departments (e.g. faculty, department heads). Providing an umbrella servicerelieves departments and REU PIs from the burden of creating (or recreating) an organizedprogram.We have implemented strategies that have successfully expanded our USRG pool of applicants,diversified institutional representation of applicants, broadened departmental participation, andincreased the number of students engaged in research. Thus, the purpose of this paper isthreefold. First, we examine the coordination aspect of the USRG and how it successfully servesas an umbrella to other summer research programs such as the REUs. Second, we summarizedescriptive and demographic data collected over the past five years on applicants, participants,and alumni. Lastly, we propose a graduate recruitment model for summer research programs touse.

Pariyothorn, M., & Autenrieth, R. L. (2012, June), Strategic Use of Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21934

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