UAAP and OME Host First Annual UROP “Expo”

By Michael Bergren, Associate Dean, Academic and Research Initiatives, UAAP

On January 20, undergraduates considering UROP participation for the first time attended the first annual IAP UROP Expo, a two-hour event held in the lobby of Kresge Auditorium. Co-sponsored by the Offices of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP) and Minority Education (OME), the Expo featured faculty, staff, and students representing departments that regularly host UROP students. Overall, twenty departments hosted tables at the event, including Aeronautics and Astronautics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Management, History, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In addition to interacting with UROP “experts,” students visiting the event viewed posters, displays, and other materials that highlighted research currently taking place across campus.

2011 UROP Expo

“The Expo was an opportunity to expose student with no prior research experience to the expansive opportunities within some of the departments that typically sponsor UROP” said Senior Associate Dean and UAAP Director, Julie Norman. ““The Expo clearly met a need, as student attendance far exceeded our expectations. This may be an event we need to organize annually.”

While the event targeted all students interested in UROP, a particular focus was on underrepresented minority (URM) students. URM students historically participate in UROP in lower numbers than majority students, and the UAAP worked closely with the OME to ensure that the event was fully promoted to URM undergraduates. “A program like this gives students the opportunity to talk about UROP with the departments that interest them in an informal and dynamic environment. This is definitely a great step toward increasing participation in UROP,” says Associate Dean and OME Director DiOnetta Jones. “I am very encouraged by the turnout for this event.”