Baylor University
National & International Scholarships
College of Arts and Sciences

URSA


Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement

If you are interested in presenting a scholarly paper, working in a lab, assisting a professor in his or her research, interning over the summer, or gaining access to an important manuscript collection or library, URSA, Baylor's initiative to promote and expand research and creative activities for undergraduates, supports such efforts. Attend URSA's Scholars Week, held in the spring of each academic year; you might find that your academic interests would lend themselves richly to research. You can access URSA's website here: Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement.

To gain a better understanding of what a student can do with an URSA Small Grant, please read the stories of this sampling of Baylor undergraduates who have or are currently participating in this program.

2011-2012 Small Grant Recipients

Jonathan Tingle

Bayesian Approaches to Modeling Uncontrolled Confounding in Biopharmaceutical Data

A premedical University Scholar who graduated Spring 2014, Jonathan completed an URSA research grant under the tutelage of Dr. Jeanne Hill in the Statistics Department. This work strengthened Jonathan's data and decision-analysis skills and helped prepare him for extensive statistical experience in his Honors thesis. Jonathan is an assistant on the Baylor in Maastricht program, Fall 2014 and will begin medical school and public health studies in Fall 2015.

Alex Weaver

Discourse in a Healthcare Setting

A Baylor Business Fellow, Alex was interested in communication issues that arise between doctors and patients. Dr. Clay Butler, a professor in the English Department, suggested to Alex that he request support from URSA and then served as his mentor. Because his project was both time-consuming and complex, the grant offset the substantial amount of time Alex spent away from his regular job. Alex graduated last May and landed a great job in hospital administration.

2012-2013 Small Grant Recipients

Kayla Grumbles

Zoia, Eternally Young, Forever Remembered: The Evolution of a Myth in the Soviet Press

Since working on this project with Dr. Adrienne Harris, a Russian professor in Modern Languages & Cultures, Kayla has published an article in an undergraduate journal and been accepted to graduate school. Dr. Harris approached Kayla about their applying for the URSA grant together because of Kayla's academic excellence and maturity as a student as well as her career goals. Kayla is a double-major in Russian and Language & Linguistics.

Haley Moore

Comparative Performance of a Plant-Based Detergent and a Standard Synthetic Detergent on Flame Resistance and Performance Properties of a Children's Sleepwear Fabric

Haley, an apparel merchandising major, performed extremely well in a course with Dr. Rinn Cloud. Because of the high quality of Haley's work, Dr. Cloud approached her about doing a research project in textiles science with her and applying for funding through URSA. A portion of the grant compensated Haley for her extensive work on the project, which enriched and complimented her coursework in Family & Consumer Science.

2013-2014 Small Grant Recipients

Meredith Rosenthal

Variation of the effect of blue light on different strains of Staphylococus aureus

Dr. Tamarah Adair met Meredith when she was a first-year student. A biology major, Meredith has worked in Dr. Adair's lab throughout her undergraduate education and applied for the URSA small grant after deciding on the topic for her Honors thesis. This grant has underwritten Meredith's research.

Jen Husak

Morphometric and Biogeochemical Skeletal Analysis of Deceased Undocumented Border Crossers

Jen contacted her mentor-professor Dr. Lori Baker for opportunities to work in her laboratory as a continuation of their field work over the last two summers. Because of Jen's dedication and the excellent quality of her work, Dr. Baker wrote and applied the URSA grant so that she could offer Jen more work in her lab as well as funding for that work. Before the grant, Jen maintained a job and school and then volunteered in the lab. The URSA enabled her to concentrate on what she loves to do. Jen has already accepted a job upon her graduation in May.

Amanda Mintz

Managing Conflict Talk

Dr. Clay Butler, a faculty member in the English Department, encouraged Amanda to apply for an URSA Small Grant to fund research for her Honors thesis. A linguistics major, Amanda used the grant to purchase video recording equipment to record several events. With Dr. Butler, her thesis advisor and mentor, Amanda examined how people negotiate differences, manage disagreements, and resolve conflict using the data collected using the URSA-purchased equipment.

Creighton Meyers

An Analysis of Sampling Techniques for Particulate Organic Matter and Implications for Understanding River Carbon Cycling

Creighton, a geology major, had been doing research with Dr. Bill Hockaday since the spring of his sophomore year. Because of his commitment to this research and the quality of his work, Dr. Hockaday wrote an URSA small grant proposal with Creighton his junior year to secure funding for him to be compensated for his research over the summer and fall of his senior year.