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News University aims to stimulate undergraduate research via SPUR

University aims to stimulate undergraduate research via SPUR


The University of Southern Mississippi’s Eagle Scholars Program for Undergraduate Research (Eagle SPUR) application ends on Thursday, Oct. 15, and all students are invited to participate.

According to a press release by the university, students are invited to apply for the Eagle SPUR, a competitive funding competition in which undergraduates can collaborate with a faculty mentor on a research project or activity.

Sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research, students with selected projects may receive up to $1,000 to support travel, equipment or supplies related to the proposed project.

Marie Danforth, professor of anthropology and director of Eagle SPUR, discussed the benefits all students would have in applying for this program.

“So much research has shown that the benefits of independently scholarly activity extend far beyond becoming more proficient in the discipline,” Danforth said. “Students who have undertaken projects such as those done through Eagle SPUR have been shown to gain confidence, learn how to network better and even at times get to test drive some potential career options.”

Ronnie Blooesao, freshman criminal justice major, said he would not mind participating in the program. Blooesao said if they found something worthwhile in their research, then both would get credit for it and help them both out.

“If I’m getting credit for it, then he’s getting credit for it too,” Blooesao said, referring to the faculty member.

Blooesao said he would participate in the program, but sometime down the line. “I’m so busy this semester,” he said.

Blooesao’s project of choice, if he were going to take part in it, would be the legalization of marijuana.

Doentaeious Leavy, freshman engineering computer and technology major, said he would participate, too.

His reasons were much like Blooesao’s in that he would get credit for the assignment and also help the professor get credit for helping him.

“If we both find something good, then it would be cool if we both got credit for it especially if the person helping me is a teacher I might have in the future,” Leavy said.

Leavy would not join the program this semester, however, citing a busy schedule. If Leavy would join, his project of choice would be advancement of technology toward a job which would suit Leavy’s degree.

According to USM’s website, a student’s portion of the proposals must contain a 1,350-word description, a budget, a bibliography and an answered series of questions about the work to be undertaken. It also requires faculty members also must submit a short application.

Applications should be submitted online at the Eagle SPUR web page. Both student and faculty applications are due on Oct. 15 by 5 p.m.

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