Celebrating Student Achievement (CSA) Day occurs yearly in April. On this day students from all departments of Meredith come together to present their undergraduate research. The Meredith Herald interviewed Director of Undergraduate Research Dr. Carolina Perez-Heydrich and two of last year’s participants.
For students who want to be involved this year but are not presenting, they can plan to attend oral presentations, the poster presentation session and performances. A schedule of this year’s CSA Day events will be available on the Undergraduate Research Program CSA website.
Students interested in participating next year can start planning their research topics and looking for an advisor now. Dr. Perez-Heydrich said, “Talk to your professors about research opportunities you might be able to participate in during the academic year…and then enroll in a 499 class in your discipline to work with a faculty member.”
Dr. Perez-Heydrich said that good questions to consider include “what projects are [faculty] currently working on? What are their research interests? Are there ways you can get involved in any existing projects?”
Past participants Hannah Porter, ‘22, and Amyia Gorham, ‘22, completed research together in child development and presented their findings at CSA Day in 2021. When asked what was most important about being successful in undergraduate research, Gorham said, “It is important to communicate with your advisor if you have an idea for research as early as possible. It can never hurt to start early!”
Porter said that it is important “to research a topic that you are passionate about [and] finding a supportive and available research advisor is huge. I could not have done my thesis without the advisor that I had.”
Gorham and Porter both said that they recommend everyone try undergraduate research and that there is no harm in trying it.
“If you are unsure about CSA Day and undergraduate research, try to volunteer to work CSA Day this year so that you can see more of what it's about,” Gorham said. “Also, don't be afraid to ask alumni about their undergraduate research experiences.”
By Freya Dahlgren, Opinion Editor, and Rachel Van Horne, Associate Editor