NORMAN — Organizers said they hope to see a freshman research program at the University of Oklahoma expand in years to come.
The program, which is at the end of the pilot stages, is a joint effort between the OU Honors
During the first year, the program was open to honors chemistry and biochemistry students, said chemistry professor Mark Morvant, the program's founder.
Next year, he said, the program will be open to all students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
University officials are also discussing the possibility of expanding the program to other departments. Rich Hamerla, associate dean of the Honors College, said he expects to see the program expand into the College of Engineering next year.
After that, he said, university officials plan to move the program into the College of Arts and Sciences department by
“Everybody's really enthusiastic about it,” Hamerla said.
Undergraduate and freshman research tend to be high-impact activities, Morvant said.
When students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, he said, they tend to be more invested in the idea of continuing with
“The earlier you can get a student engaged in research, the more learning and research they can get,” he said.
The program matches students with faculty who are willing to open up space in their labs to first-year students.
While the program has the potential to have a major impact on the students who participate, he said, the cost to the university is fairly minimal.
“It's not a high-dollar-type program,” Hamerla said.