Educational Seminars and Information Sessions

SOURCE is pleased to host a wide variety of educational seminars and information sessions including:

  1. Think Big Research Scholars
  2. "All About Finding Research" Information Session
  3. Preparing for Intersections
  4. Graduate School admission and personal statement workshops
  5. Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) 4-part seminar

Think Big Research Scholars: A Provost North Star Credential Program

SOURCE is pleased to announce a new Provost Office credentialed program, Think Big Research Scholars.  This program provides advanced content to prepare undergraduates to build successful portfolios for graduate school.   We especially encourage first-generation, under-represented minorities and international students who are interested or considering graduate school in STEM to participate.  Students who complete six sessions (as described below) will receive a research starter kit and a Think Big Research Scholar Certificate of Completion from Provost Ben Vinson.  

The information sessions and workshops are designed:

  • to assist students in finding research opportunities;
  • to help students build strong communication skills that will aid them in their research experience and beyond;
  • to provide and overview about the path to graduate school and guidance on the application process.
  • to introduce students to laboratory skills.

These STEM sessions will introduce students - especially those new to research settings - to laboratory topics, and/or research in English.  Many of these sessions were offered during the Fall semester as part of the Provost's Office North Star Program.

Course offerings are listed below.  These sessions may be taken individually.  None of the sessions are a prerequisite for another session.  SOURCE understands that our students are studying across the world this spring semester, so these sessions will be recorded.  If the time of a session does not work for your time zone or you have a class schedule conflict, please email and we will provide the link to your desired session.  Think Big Research Scholars participants are encouraged to continue the discussion, ask additional questions or simply chat with any of the presenters via email or during designated Think Big Research Scholars office hours, which will be shared with attendees.  

Please note: Zoom links will be available on Handshake.

I. Professional Development Research Skills (5 sessions)

For Provost Certificate: Students must attend 3 of 5 sessions.

  1. Overview of the research process and finding research.  Content includes how to use the SOURCE website to find research opportunities during the academic year and summer, ways to explore faculty research, and more.  Presenter: Dr. Sheila Pedigo, Director of SOURCE. Tuesday, March 23, 7:00 p.m.
  2. Professional Skills in Research Teams.  Content includes guidance for beginning researchers, communication skills for working with mentors and lab partners and lab notebook (e)-writing, and a discussion of working in teams. Presenters: Laurie Dudik, Electronic Design Center (EDC); Dr. Ina Martin, Director of MORE Center and Oscar Ramos. Tuesday, March 30, 7:00 p.m.
  3. Communications Skills (part 1).  Learn how to communicate with faculty about research opportunities and developing a resume.  This session is focused on communications internal to CWRU. Presenter: Oscar Ramos, Associate Director of SOURCE. Tuesday, April 6, 7:00 p.m.
  4. Introduction to Research Ethics: Case Studies.  Explore some real-life situations and discuss best practices for handling data, discussing authorship, developing good mentoring relationships and more.  Presenter: Tracy Wilson Holden, Office of Research Administration. Thursday, April 22, 4:00 p.m.
  5. Communications Skills (part 2).  Further develop your communication skills with faculty, administration, employers and other external partners.  This session is complementary to Communication Skills I, and is focused on external communications to CWRU. Presenter: Tiffany McNamara, Senior Director, Sears think[box].  Monday, April 26, 8:30 a.m.

II. Graduate School Sessions (2 sessions)

For Provost certificate: students must attend 1 session.

  1. Overview of Graduate School and How to Prepare: An overview of the path to graduate school across STEM fields, graduate school cultures and how to navigate financial and other considerations. DATE: Wednesday, April 21, 5 p.m.
  2. STEM Graduate School Application Process:  Content includes how to organize the graduate school application process and a guide to writing personal statements.  Presenter:  Dr, Ina Martin, MORE Center, with a faculty panel for Q&A.  DATE: Tuesday, April 27, 7 p.m. 

III.  Practical STEM Laboratory Skills (5 sessions)

For certificate: students must attend 2 sessions.

  1. Microscopy Basics for Application Across Fields: Content in this session is pertinent to students across all STEM areas.  Imaging of samples is ubiquitous across STEM.  This session covers the basics of light and electron microscopy and its application to biological and inorganic samples from viruses to solar cells.  Presented by Ina Martin, Director of the MORE Center.  Monday, March 22, 8:30 a.m.
  2. Vacuum Systems and Thin Films.  Presenter: Laurie Dudik, Electronic Design Center (EDC). This session is pertinent to students across all STEM areas.  Vacuum systems are components in equipment with broad relevancy, including but not limited to microscopy, material preparation and deposition.  Thin film coatings are used in applications ranging from optics, solar cells, implantable biomedical devices, sensors and decorations.  This session will cover common language, tools and fundamentals pertinent to the topic.  Monday, March 29, 8:30 a.m.
  3. Testing and Measurements: Solar cells, Transistors and More.  Presenters: Dr. Ina Martin and Laurie Dudik. Among STEM fields there is a common quality terminology for scientific testing.  This session will review terms and introduce testing techniques used in solar cells and semiconductor testing that are generally applicable to physics, materials science and several engineering disciplines.  Solar cells and their functioning will be discussed as a real world example of how the testing techniques explored are used.  Monday, April 5, 8:30 a.m.
  4. Biology Research Essentials.  What does a lab look like?  In this session Profession will narrate a tour of her own lab and explain equipment along the way.  In addition, Professor Atit will share six research essential skills, any of which you can learn on your own before stepping into a lab.  Having even one of these skills on your resume will help you be a stand-out when looking for a biology research opportunity.  Presenter:  Dr. Radhika Atit, Department of Biology.  Monday, April 19, 8:30 a.m.
  5. Data Analysis Across the Disciplines.  Content in this session is pertinent to students across all STEM areas.  It will cover what qualifies as data, data in different areas, and an introduction to R and Python.  Reproducible research and open data platforms will also be discussed. Presenter: Dr. Laura Bruckman, Research Associate Professor, SDLE Center.  Wednesday, April 28, 4:00 p.m.

About the Credential Process and Leadership Committee:

Provost Ben Vinson will award a Certificate of Completion to students who complete six sessions as specified above. SOURCE will compile and email the Provost Office a list of students who complete the credential process during the week of May 10.  If you have any questions, please contact The Think Big Research Scholars planning committee is comprised of Laurie Dudik, Arthur Evenchik, Professor Ina Martin, (co-chair), Michael Mason, Edwin Mayes, Sheila Pedigo (co-chair), Naomi Sigg and Vice-President Robert Solomon.  The group partnered with faculty and staff across campus to offer the Think Big Research Scholars program this spring semester.  We are grateful to all our presenters.

Looking for Research? Attend the info session, "All About Finding Research"

Offered Virtually! This 50-minute information session provides you with the basic information for finding research on and around CWRU during the academic year and provides some guidance for students looking for summer research. 

The schedule of sessions for Spring 2021 are below: 

Thursday, April 8, 4 pm

Friday, April 16, 8:30 am

Tuesday, April 20, 7 pm

Monday, April 26, 8:30 am 

Registration for the above sessions in handshake, click here

Preparing for Intersections

Planning to present at Intersections? Attend these workshops:

The Elevator Pitch Workshop: Presenting Your Research to Strangers

Friday, April 9, 12:45 to 2 p.m. EDT

Presented by Dr. Bill Doll and Dr. Barbara Burgess-Van Aken, this workshop will share valuable advice on explaining complex research, maximizing the potential of your video format, as well as strategies for answering questions about your research.

RSVP by noon on April 8 to receive the Zoom link.

Preparing for Intersections: Improving Presentation Skills and How to Make a Poster

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Presented by Jennifer DeSantis, Associate Director of Student Advancement, this session will provide information on how to present via video, how to prepare your PowerPoint and how to make a poster.

Presentation Recording

Graduate School admission and personal statement workshops

Preparing for Disruptions: Investing in YOU with a Graduate Degree - Thursday, April 15, 7 pm

Offered Virtually, by attending this workshop you will:

  • Discover how a graduate degree will prepare you for disruptions. 
  • Understand why the investing of your talent in a graduate education will yield a great return.  
  • Establish an edge in your graduate application - The process of applying, getting admitted, funded and more!

Speaker: Dr. Said Sewell - Sewell has been featured on CNN, Larry King Live, and Today Show along with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Black Enterprise Magazine, Ebony Magazine, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Undergraduate students who participate and attend this entire workshop will have their names entered into a raffle to receive a $100 CWRU Book Scholarship!

To register, click here.

Applying to Graduate School in Social Sciences - and Writing Those Pesky Personal Statements - March 12, 1pm

Offered Virtually! This workshop will have a particular focus on personal statements for students who plan to pursue graduate education in the Social Sciences field.   Date: TBD.  Register via Handshake here. 

The Graduate School Admission Process in STEM Fields: Organizing for Success

This workshop offered each semester is part of our Think Big Research Scholars program (described above) during Spring 2021.  

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Conducted each Fall semester, the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is a 4-part seminar series focused on research ethics for undergraduate researchers.  Students who complete all four sessions receive a Certificate of Completion.  Sessions are 50 minutes.  Please register and find the Zoom link on Handshake.

  1. Laboratory Safety  
  2. Communication & Collaboration 
  3. Humans & Animals 
  4. Data Management

RCR is co-sponsored by the Office of Research Administration and SOURCE. These sessions are held each fall semester.