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Work in Progress: Enhancing the Undergraduate Research Experience through Partnership with a Non-profit Organization

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical

Page Count

5

DOI

10.18260/p.27223

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27223

Download Count

79

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Paper Authors

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Margo Cousins University of Texas, Austin

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Ms. Cousins oversees undergraduate and graduate academic advising at the Department Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. She directs the office in strategic academic and professional development advising, capstone projects program, industry partnerships, first-year interest groups, and other special programs.

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Lynda K. Gonzales University of Texas, Austin

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Erin Dolan University of Texas, Austin

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Kathryn E. Flowers Texas 4000 for Cancer

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Courtney Becker Texas 4000 for Cancer

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Laura Suggs University of Texas, Austin

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Mia K. Markey University of Texas, Austin

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Dr. Mia K. Markey is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin as well as Adjunct Professor of Imaging Physics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Markey is a 1994 graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and has a B.S. in computational biology (1998). Dr. Markey earned her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering (2002), along with a certificate in bioinformatics, from Duke University. Dr. Markey has been recognized for excellence in research and teaching with awards from organizations such as the American Medical Informatics Association, the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Cancer Society, and the Society for Women’s Health Research. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a Senior Member of both the IEEE and the SPIE.

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Abstract

An innovative element of the Biomedical Engineering Community of Undergraduate Research Scholars for Cancer (BME CUReS) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at The University of Texas at Austin is partnership with Texas 4000, a non-profit organization engaged in advocacy and philanthropy for cancer research. Texas 4000 engages students at the host university in 18-months of leadership training, cumulating in a capstone experience of a 10-week charity bicycle ride during the summer. The timing of the BME CUReS REU and Texas 4000 charity ride are coordinated such that the research experience begins when Texas 4000 students embark on their bike journey and the research experience concludes when Texas 4000 students arrive at their target destination. The undergraduate research experience is enriched by interactions with Texas 4000 students, such as through visits from Texas 4000 students who have already completed the ride the previous year, videoconference discussions with Texas 4000 students during their summer journey, and REU students sending encouraging cards to the Texas 4000 students en route. Our goal is that through such activities the BME CUReS REU students will increase their understanding of the important roles of advocacy and philanthropy in advancing cancer research and keep the ultimate goal of improving health in mind. Likewise, the intent is that the Texas 4000 students will increase their understanding of how researchers are trained and what the everyday experiences of research are like. In addition, novel community-building methods of the Texas 4000 have been adopted by the BME CUReS REU Site. For example, in analogy to the Texas 4000 students’ “rider dedications,” the BME CUReS REU students begin each weekly seminar with “research dedications” in which program faculty, staff, and trainees share brief accounts of to who they dedicate their research efforts this week. Similarly, the BME CUReS REU students write a blog describing their summer journey towards becoming cancer researchers, which parallels the social media posts of the Texas 4000 students on their summer-long charity bike ride.

Cousins, M., & Gonzales, L. K., & Dolan, E., & Flowers, K. E., & Becker, C., & Suggs, L., & Markey, M. K. (2016, June), Work in Progress: Enhancing the Undergraduate Research Experience through Partnership with a Non-profit Organization Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27223

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