This article was written by Jamie Offerdahl, a contributing writer at The Concordian.
Opportunities to earn money while doing something that you love don’t come around often, but the Student Government Association is providing the opportunity for just that. The undergraduate student scholar program funded by the SGA is providing two $3,000 stipends to support undergraduate students carrying out research in the area of their choosing during the summer. Current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors from any discipline are eligible to apply. Applications are due Feb. 10.
Susan Larson, director of undergraduate research, scholarship and national fellowships, believes that this is a fantastic chance for students to propose their own projects in any area of study that interests them.
“Money funded by the government often tends to go to science research and as a result we think about undergraduate research as only being in the sciences,” Larson said. “So having the SGA be able to fund students across the board doing projects that they’re interested in is really a great opportunity.”
Larson also said that by pursuing undergraduate research, students demonstrate greater advancements in learning, personal gains such as enhanced self-confidence and self-reliance, meaningful student-faculty relationships, better retention of students in their discipline, and greater career clarification and preparation.
Senior Andrea Wagner was one of the two recipients of last year’s stipend. Wagner’s research was on painting techniques, specifically impressionism. She studied Claude Monet, who was a founder of French impressionist painting, last spring. During the summer she traveled to Minneapolis Institute of the Arts where she was able to see two Monet paintings in person and then started working on her own paintings. Wagner highly recommends this program to students.
“There is no way to lose,” Wagner said. “While I was going to be painting during the summer anyway, doing this project gave me more motivation and the money also was a big help.”
Senior Joe Marion, the Academic Affairs commissioner, is one of the people in charge of this program. His advice for those who decide to apply is to find an advisor who will help shape the project and then to set a goal and write a proposal. He says that something new that the judges will be looking at this year is how the project will help the student to become responsibly engaged in the world.
“It’s unique to Concordia to have money through a student-led organization for students,” Marion said. “It’s a chance to do research in your field of interest, no matter what field that may be.”
Applications can be found here.