SURE is a summer research program that awards student researchers funds for faculty-directed research fellowships.
“It’s a scholarship,” said Ann Gosky, director of the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs. “They’re learning, they’re being mentored by this faculty member…it’s a wonderful experience.”
For eight weeks, students immerse themselves in the research studies of their choice, working with a trusted faculty member.
“Students work one-on-one with a faculty member, and the faculty member guides them through a research process,” Gosky said. “Usually, students assist the faculty member with their research, but occasionally students do independent research.”
The SURE program has set up virtual and in-person opportunities for students. The program also provides free student housing and stipends that vary based on the number of hours a student works.
Students who work full-time receive a stipend of $3,200, while students who work part-time can receive a stipend of $1,600, depending on the Student Research Office website.
The summer research program has supported students from a variety of disciplines, including piano performance, education, drama, and biology.
Gosky said students in any major can develop lifelong skills that will help them in their professional development.
“Our students graduate with skills that graduate schools and employers are looking for,” she said. “Work as a team, be independent thinkers, solve problems [and] critical thinkers.
Sophomore Biology student Jermaine Gordon is a research student who participated in the SURE summer program during his first year.
“SURE is the only internship that caught my eye,” he said. “I wanted to get into radiology, and I also wanted to be under the mentorship of an established professor.”
In the summer of 2020, Gordon worked with Larry Osher, a professor at the College of Podiatric Medicine. The duo researched Metatarsus Adductus, a podiatric condition found in infants in which the metatarsal bones turn inward toward the middle of the body.
To determine the severity and location of the disorder, researchers use X-rays and angles to assess.
“We have several different angles that we draw on the maps [x-rays] to measure this deformation,” Osher said. “And it can be difficult for two or three different evaluators to find the same angular values and points that should be selected on the x-ray bones.”
Gordon was tasked with comparing three different methods to better determine the reliability and accuracy of the disorder measures.
“I had to study the degree of metatarsus in the foot,” he said. “I use it to determine how bad it was so I can continue my research into new methods. [of radiographic analysis].”
Through research, Gordon was able to identify an accurate method for identifying the severity of metatarsal adductus, which helps researchers like Osher approach the disorder differently.
Gordon said experiences like SURE have helped him grow professionally and suggests other students considering SURE give it a go.
“You have to be open to new research possibilities and be open to new experiences,” he said. “Everything should be easy after that.”
Alexus Rayzer is a journalist. Contact her at [email protected]