Undergraduate Research Academy
The Undergraduate Research Academy encourages students to expand their education beyond the classroom through participation in research and creative projects mentored by UCCS faculty. The Academy objective is to support collaborative efforts between the student and faculty member, where both members benefit from the experience. Academy students act as research assistants on meaningful projects identified by their faculty mentor. Through this yearlong opportunity, the student gains valuable experience, while being paid, and the faculty member's research program goals are furthered. In addition to their research, students take part in a monthly seminar and professional development opportunities.
URA Student Success
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Emily Mooney
Audrey, a 2022 URA Cohort member, spent the summer researching conservation efforts of locally endangered vertebrates and bugs to collect or preserve for UCCS collection. Audrey was even able to spend some of the summer at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory to help develop Dr. Mooney's research!
Here's what Audrey had to say about being a part of the URA!
"It’s a lot of work but it’s some of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. I’ve never felt so sure I was on the right path and where I needed to be. Research with a faculty advisor is a great way to see if the field you’re interested in is right for you.
The Undergraduate Research Academy encourages UCCS students to expand their education beyond the classroom through participation in research and creative projects while engaging in mentorship with UCCS faculty. The yearlong collaborative research projects further students’ professional and academic development while furthering faculty members’ research program goals."
Read more on Audrey's research in her UCCS Communique Feature!
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tre Wentling
Courtney, a 2022 URA Cohort member, spent their summer researching with Dr. Wentling on understanding "Transgender Embodied States of Recognition," gaining research experience on data collection and analyzation. This experience has allowed Cowling to discover their own research question that they wished to study over the summer on how "positive and negative social interactions influence trans individuals’ physical embodiment."
Here's what Courtney had to say about being a part of the URA!
"Overall, I found the funding from the URA to be greatly beneficial, personally. Moreover, I have high hopes my research will be a positive contribution to larger conversations regarding social interactions and its influence on embodiment practices among transgender individuals. I strongly urge WESTies, along with students enrolled in other majors, to explore the possibilities of acquiring URA funding. Not only does it allow one to have a more intimate understanding of and experience with research, it also funds research that may not otherwise be conducted at UCCS."
Make sure to check out their feature on the Women's and Ethnic Studies (WEST) page!
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Kovacs
Recent UCCS graduate and URA member of the 2021 cohort, Madison Fox has gone on to a fellowship in Bethesda, Maryland to conduct virology research on HIV and COVID-19 under Dr. Anthony Fauci. After this fellowship experience, she plans to pursue medical school.
She said of her time working with her faculty mentor: "Working under Dr. Kovacs has been an incredible experience, and learning from someone as smart as he is has taught me not only biochemistry lab techniques and bioengineering skills, but a new way of thinking, asking questions, and how I can go about answering these questions.".
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Klocko
Hadeel, a URA 2021 cohort member, took full advantage of her time here at UCCS. She in additional to working with Dr. Klocko on research, Hadeel started the Middle East and Northern African club (MENA), she volunteered as a peer mentor for GPS, and was the winner of the 2022 UCCS Student Achievement Award!
Her advice to students thinking about getting involved in research or creative works? "Reach out to a professor as soon as you can, because it is such a great and educational experience that I think everyone should take advantage of."