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Students Gain Meaningful Research Opportunities Alongside Faculty

Ohio Wesleyan University offers an exciting experience to undergraduate students not as often found at larger institutions, and that is doing research with professors in their respective fields.

Dr. Ramon Carreno, a professor of biological sciences, is doing various research with students about parasites. These projects began at the start of the semester.

When working on these research projects, students have the opportunity to work in a real research environment. “Students don’t get the full research experience with a three-hour lab limit,” Carreno said.

Carreno added that in addition to experiencing a real research setting, students are also able to develop a large amount of patience and organizational skills.

Dr. Danielle Hamill, a professor of biological sciences and who did research in the past with students, said that students learn to troubleshoot and deal with unexpected setbacks.

“There’s a level of complexity and nuance in the research setting,” Hamill said. “There are setbacks and it is not always straightforward.”

Freshman Megan Kluxen, a pre-med major, is interested in conducting a research project during her time at Ohio Wesleyan. “It allows students to figure out what they want to do in the future and it helps to build a resume for graduate school,” Kluxen said. “It’s a great learning experience.”

Priscilla Santos, an OWU junior, is also interested in pursuing a research project. She said that these types of opportunities “get people out of their comfort zones” and are a great way to gain experience in a research setting.

Students can begin the process of setting up research projects by reaching out to professors.

“A large part of setting up a research project is students remembering that faculty are here for them,” Carreno said.

In both Hamill and Carreno’s experiences, students approached them to talk about research, and then together they talked about further directions. Students also need to be willing to carry out the project.

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