SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 — When the university shifted mid–spring semester to fully remote learning in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Roadrunners conducting and supporting undergraduate research efforts pivoted quickly to continue their scholarly work.
UTSA recognizes undergraduate research as a high-impact practice that helps prepare students for success, with increased student-faculty interaction opening opportunities for mentorship and career planning advisement. Offering undergraduate students meaningful research opportunities is an important component of UTSA’s Classroom to Career Initiative, which focuses on providing more students with experiential learning opportunities during their academic journey at UTSA.
One program at UTSA focused on undergraduate research is the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential.
McNair scholar Joseph Galloway, a mechanical engineering major, learned that working from home could present challenges for research as he worked with Patrick Benavidez, a lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering on a project involving multirobot construction systems.
“It was definitely challenging trying to keep up with all of the assignments while staying home with so many distractions,” Galloway said. “My internet would cut out every once in a while during meetings and seminars, and I had to spend a lot of my time helping my family members with technical issues.”
Despite the challenges, Galloway found his research to be a great experience. “Although it was challenging, I had a lot of fun and still learned a tremendous amount,” he said.
Research teams demonstrated adaptability and creativity to find ways to continue their work remotely.
Another McNair scholar, Paulina Salinas, also had a positive experience over the summer with the McNair Scholars Summer Program. She worked under assistant professor Guenevere Chen’s Cybersecurity and Cloud Research Lab, studying cybersecurity in electric vehicle charging systems with another undergraduate student and two graduate students.
“We worked on the project this summer through weekly team meetings using Webex,” Salinas said. “For the project, one of the graduate students took the items we ordered online to their home and set up the test bed as we all collaborated and brainstormed to connect the items and make the project work.”
Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellow John Long worked with kinesiology assistant professor Tianou Zhang this summer, focusing on secondary research using already existing data.
“I am Dr. Zhang’s reader-grader for his exercise nutrition course, so we speak on a frequent basis,” Long said. “Since I’m an undergraduate student, research labs were not available for me, so I had to conduct secondary research, specifically a systematic review. I met with him periodically for guidance on both conducting the necessary research for a systematic review as well writing a systematic review.”
Undergraduate students at UTSA continue to have multiple opportunities to get involved with research. Students can now access the Student Opportunity Center through UTSA’s Office of Undergraduate Research. This free service allows students to access the nation’s largest database for honors and undergraduate research opportunities. UTSA faculty are encouraged to submit their research opportunities to the SOC.
The Office of Undergraduate Research was created in 2013 to engage and promote research opportunities for UTSA undergraduates in all academic disciplines. For more information, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website or contact Darrell.Balderrama@utsa.edu.
UTSA Main Campus will serve as a designated polling station during the early voting period, today through October 30, and on Election Day, November 3.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104)
The First Generation and Transfer Student Center (FGTSC), Transfer and Transition Student Success Services (T2S3), and Alamo Runners invite you to join the virtual fun as we celebrate National Transfer Student Week. UTSA is enriched by transfer students who bring their diverse experiences, backgrounds, and assets to our campus. National Transfer Student Week seeks to celebrate, empower, and support transfer students with events and workshops specifically designed for transfers.Virtual Event
Join Student Health Services as we discuss Intellectual Wellbeing with TRC - Academic Success Coaching.Virtual Event
Are you missing our Roost Tournaments? We will be having our UFC 3 tournament and our tournaments are now back to Wednesdays! Sign up and show us your skills. See if you have what it takes to be our champion.Virtual Event
Dr. Mo. Jamshidi is an Endowed chaired professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio. He is a Persian Native, born in Shiraz, Iran in 1944. He was an advisor to NASA for 10 years (including with the first MARS Mission and seven years with NASA Headquarters (Washington, DC), among other organizations. He has over 800 technical publications including 74 books in English and 5 foreign languages. For the past 20 years, he has been collecting data on Persian Scientists and Poets from 1000 BC to 2021 AD. This presentation will be about the book written by Dr. Jamshidi that collects information on Persian scientists and poets.Virtual Event
Join this informative, interactive webinar with practical tips on how to plan your charitable giving now and for the future. Michael Perkins, member of the UTSA Alumni Association and the UTSA College of Business Accounting Advisory Board, is no stranger to gift planning. As managing partner and CEO of Slattery Perkins Ramirez P.C. (“SPR”) his primary areas of focus include counseling business owners, executives, and other high net worth individuals on personal financial issues, including estate planning, wealth transfer, and income tax planning techniques. Michael also practices philanthropy himself – establishing an endowed scholarship at UTSA as well as supporting numerous charitable causes throughout San Antonio.Virtual Event
UTSA Main Campus is a voting poll for Election Day on November 3.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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