Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Discover SEARCH

The first Students Engaged in Artistic and Academic Research (SEARCH) event of the academic year is the Kick-Off event for eager students to meet with faculty and student alumni of the program. They share enthusiasm for inquiry and learn about research opportunities and training offered through SEARCH. The Kick-Off is followed by a “Brain-Storming” session where students at discipline specific round-tables speak with faculty mentors and other students about ideas for projects and how to go about finding a mentor. Students can also get help finding a mentor at the SEARCH web-site or by talking to the SEARCH director, Dr. Jim Murowchick. Next a workshop on “How to Write a Proposal” helps students to promote their project, develop a budget, and understand the proposal review process, including the view from the reviewer’s perspective. In the Spring Semester, workshops include presentations like, "Using the UMKC Libraries’ Research Tools." Leading up to the SEARCH Symposium, workshops are offered on writing an informational Abstract, Preparing a Poster Presentation, giving a PowerPoint-Based Oral Presentation, and importantly, what to expect during judging at the Symposium. The culmination of the year is the upcoming 9th Annual Symposium!

The 9th Annual SEARCH Symposium is Friday, April 17, in Pierson Auditorium. This year’s symposium exhibits the results of academic and creative endeavors of 51 UMKC undergraduate students supported by their dedicated faculty mentors. UMKC students, faculty and staff, student family members, and the general public are invited to come and support the researchers’ accomplishments and to be part of the celebration. The best times to view the poster and model displays and to listen to the reading of papers are 10 am-2 pm.

Any student in any discipline who has completed or is working on an undergraduate research project, whether funded by SEARCH or not, was encouraged to present at the Symposium. The projects will be described in an Abstracts volume; posters and models will be displayed, and papers will be read. The presentations will be judged by faculty members and local professionals, and winners in each category will receive a certificate and a prize. The Awards Ceremony begins at 4:00 pm with a presentation by Dr. Bibie Chronwall on “SEARCH: From Project to Profession” highlighting SEARCH alumni, followed by the announcement of the award winners.

SEARCH also organizes UMKC's participation in the UM System Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol
(URD@C). Student Research Ambassadors are selected for this special honor from candidates nominated by faculty mentors. Students from all four UM campuses
present their research to state legislators and staff members in a 1-day poster session in the capitol’s Rotunda in Jefferson City. The event provides a showcase for the cutting-edge research in all disciplines being conducted by undergraduates at Missouri’s research university. Emphasis is placed on projects that benefit the people and state of Missouri, including the arts, engineering, sciences, health fields, economics, urban planning, and many others. Because space is limited, up to 10 students may be selected from each campus.

Undergraduate research experiences available at UMKC have proven to be valuable educational experiences for students. Any student at UMKC who is interested, should visit the SEARCH website ( or contact Dr. Murowchick ( ).

-Written by Bibie Chronwall and Jim Murowchick

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