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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    URECA! Stud ents Sail with Summer Research

    In a small Stony BrookLaboratory, students are finding new ways to perform bypasssurgerieson patients afflicted with Coronary Artery Disease. Sitting by them are the rabbits that mayhold the key to these new surgicalmethods. Ten weeks, a stipend and a fellowship by the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URECA) program have made all this possible.’ The Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Program (IBRP), the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site Programs and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellow Programs are working with URECA at Stony Brook toachievetheir various research goals, giving students a chance to take part in real world lab work.

    “Summer is a great opportunity to do research because there are less distractions from classes and other commitments,” said Karen Kernan, Director of Programs for Research and Creative Activity. “Students usually continue their research throughout the year and value the time they had during the summer to finish a bulk of their research work.”

    The students involved in the summer undergraduate research programs work closely withmentorsin their field of interest. The disciplines that students pursue range from music, literature and the visual arts to the sciences and social sciences.

    “A student can learn a great deal about a certain topic when they do research on it,” said Sara Goldgraben, Stony Brook sophomore and URECA participant. “The program is an excellent way for students to meet Stony Brook faculty and network with people.”

    “I personally find this program to be the best mechanisms offered to Stony Brook students to get a one-on-one research experience,” said Dr. Suparna Rajaram, Professor of Psychology and one of the mentors for URECA participants. “As a mentor, it’s rewarding to watch students develop the skills for independent thinking, particularly in the domain of hypothesis testing.”

    The summer undergraduate research programs vary in length from 8 weeks to 10 weeks. The students work with their mentor at a lab site for approximately 40 hours a week. During this time, the students focus solely on the research work with no other class or work commitments.

    “There never seems enough time to accomplish all the work you set out to do because everything takes longer than expected,” said junior Sameer Khanijo, recipient of a Howard Hughes Program fellowship. “I guess trying creative methods through trial-and-error is part of the process of learning through scientific research.”

    “It would be nice to see the URECA fellowship program expanded to include a semester fellowship program as a follow-up to the summer program,” said Rajaram. “It would really allow the chance for students pursuing research as a career to blossom.”

    Students showcase the research they have worked on with their faculty mentors at the Celebration of Undergraduate Achievements, an annual two-day event presenting works from virtually every field. Leaders from the arts, academia and private sector firms present awards to promising research projects in several disciplines. This academic year, the event will be held onApril 21, 2004at theStudentActivitiesCenter .

    For more information on the annual celebration or applying to the program, you can contact Karen or Patricia .

    You can also visit the URECA website at

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