While engaging a room of Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s faculty members, Dr. Jeffrey Osborn delivered a message to all who attended hoping to further supplement their desire to teach.
“When students are more deeply engaged in learning, in a variety of ways…those are powerful forms of learning,” said Osborn during the Fourth Annual South Texas Student Success Conference: “Creating a Culture of Learning through Undergraduate Research.”
Several discussion and workshops took place during the two day conference in which individuals corroborated on how to make TAMUK an even better place for students and faculty to collaborate together on academic research.
A major focus of the event began at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, when Dr. Jeffery Osborn, the current Dean of the School of Science and Professor of Biology at the College of New Jersey, delivered a keynote address to those in attendance.
Osborn took the stage, and began his address, “Deepening a Culture of Student Learning through Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity,” first praising all those in attendance. “It speaks volumes that you’re here on a Friday before spring break,” he acknowledged.
He then went on to discuss the focal point of his message: undergraduate research as a team effort between students and instructors. With over 25 years of experience serving on the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), including time spent as president of the organization, Osborn spoke about how he strongly believed that research should not be an action in which those conducting it should be separated from other students.
Further, he held that the process is not one designed only for wise and experienced students. Rather, according to Osborn, research is a part of the learning process on the undergraduate level and helps to bring cultures together on campus.
During one of the Q&A portions of the event, Dr. Nirmal Goswami of the Political Science Department asked how TAMUK could help provide opportunities for students and faculty to present undergraduate research to the public. In answer, Osborn suggested that inspiration could be taken from events like “Javelina Days.” By his suggestion, a day could be set aside in which specific locations house and display research, with members of the TAMUK and local communities invited to visit the offerings.
In closing, Osborn stressed the importance of instructors never looking down on undergraduate researchers for lack of experience, but instead, to cherish their value, and to appreciate their contribution to the field. Osborn encouraged faculty to “…[think] of students as apprentices and junior-collaborators.”
Follow Samuel Galindo on Twitter: @samgalindo37