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While teaching is the first priority for our professors, they are also passionate about conducting innovative and important research. But they’re not doing it on their own; undergraduate students have ample opportunities to work collaboratively with faculty members on research projects. You won’t just read about groundbreaking research in class, you’ll be part of it. Here are just a few examples of what some student and faculty teams have been up to:
- Drake students studied whether grazing cattle reduce the amount of biodiversity in a prairie (it doesn’t). Undergraduate Abbey Elmer co-authored a research article on the study with Keith Summerville, associate professor of environmental science and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, that appeared in Great Lakes Entomologist.
- Three pharmacy students are working with Andrea Kjos, assistant professor of social and administrative sciences, to conduct research and help recruit patients to participate in a study, which will determine whether a mobile application is effective in helping diabetes patients manage their medications.
- Drake undergraduates worked with David Senchinca, associate professor of biology, to conduct research on whether running and basketball exercises on Nintendo Wii were comparable to the real activities.
- Drake seniors Ryan DuToit and Bennett Hansen created a language studies application for the iPad. They wrote thousands of lines of code and researched potential functions for the application in the process.
- Senior public relations students compiled research in conjunction with local organizations on the level of civility in central Iowa, and how different groups define and perceive the concept.
- In the course, Field Applications in Marketing, senior marketing majors conducted research for an actual company, using a variety of qualitative research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and participant observation.
Research-based courses and programs like the Drake Undergraduate Science Collaborative Institute (DUSCI) provide opportunities for you to pursue projects like these and outlets to publish and promote your findings. With these possibilities, you’ll be far ahead of the curve come graduation.
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