The Notre Dame Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) team, which organizes immersive research programs each summer for more than 300 undergraduate students from around the world, received the Presidential Team Irish Award.
Six of the 18 members of the team are affiliated with the College of Engineering, including Heidi Deethardt (NDnano), Shreya Kumar (Computer Science and Engineering), Tiffanie Sammons (Wireless Institute & SpectrumX), Kaitlyn Stankiewicz (Dean’s Office), Barbara Villarosa (ND Energy), and Jessica Woolley (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering).
“The team was effective in part because it recognized that while each REU program at the University has different goals, recruitment channels, funding models and services, there were some common needs for all students on campus,” said Shreya Kumar, teaching professor in computer science and engineering.
Undergraduate research gives students the opportunity to gain new skills by spending time in laboratories, conducting fieldwork, gathering and compiling data, and performing analytical studies. For the benefit of REU participants, the team organized events such as GRE training, how-to workshops on applying to graduate school, designing effective research posters, and pursuing careers in science. Social events such as an ice cream social, trivia night, and Latin dance lessons were also offered.
At the end of the summer, the team organized a joint research and poster symposium where 116 students from 16 summer REU programs presented their research.
— Karla Cruise, Notre Dame Engineering