Free research classes available
Students can take part in numerous free workshops this summer to improve their research and writing skills.
The Discovery Through Learning Initiative, a research-based program established in 2008, is holding the workshops. The program encourages students of all majors to gain skills necessary for success both in college and the workforce.
Communication lecturer Mike Emery is an instructor for a workshop titled Research Writing: From Academic Journal to Popular Media.
‘Each workshop lasts about two to three hours and (the instructors) try to make it fun for everybody and get everyone to participate,’ Emery said. ‘This series of workshops is good for everybody. You will gain some insight no matter what your major.’
Nutrition sophomore Joe Potucek attended the Research Project Management and Responsible Conduct of Research workshop last week, led by instructor Veronique Tran, director of the Office of Undergraduate Discovery Programs, and said the material taught is informational and useful.
‘I thought the material was presented well,’ Potucek said. ‘Dr. Tran placed emphasis on interactive dialogue with the attendees and I think that helped make the atmosphere casual. That made it a bit more comfortable to me as a relatively new researcher. As the material was covered, Dr. Tran made sure to leave room for questions, and I think that helped us get the most out of the workshop.’
Potucek said he plans on attending more of the workshops, but hopes to see more seats filled with UH students.
‘There were plenty of researchers from universities across the country in there and only a handful of Coogs,’ Potucek said. ‘I would like to see a stronger Cougar representation.’
Emery says that regardless of the interests or career path you want to follow, the workshops can help you learn valuable skills in the workforce.
‘All of these workshops teach research skills. Whether you go into research or not, students will have to engage in research-oriented tasks at some point in their professional careers. Students can learn a lot from this,’ Emery said.
In Emery’s workshop, students will be able to practice different types of professional writing – whether for an academic journal or for the general media.
‘We approach research and communication from two different angles; from academic writing and articles to the media in general,’ Emery said. ‘I come from a media background and Kyung Hee-Bae, the other instructor, knows a lot about academic writing. We show examples of academic papers and explain how that paper has been adapted to a trade publication. Basically, you use a different language to communicate the same thing.’
Interdisciplinary science junior Fernando Andrade is enrolled in the Medicine and Society Program and also took Tran’s workshop.
‘The information provided during the workshop will be very helpful in my future research project. I especially found useful the ‘Project Manager/Worker’ approach to conducting research and developing a finished product,’ Andrade said. ‘In the past, I always had trouble organizing and evaluating my research after gathering my sources, and this approach will be helpful in setting timetables and completing my project.’
For more information on the workshops, visit http://www.uh.edu/discovery/DiscoveryWorkshopSeries_Summer09.pdf