Each year the Office of Undergraduate Research seeks passionate undergraduates to serve as Student Research Ambassadors — the public face of student research at events for internal and external audiences, where they share their stories of becoming researchers whose experiences combine the teaching and research missions of the university. Students in this program develop their ability to share their research narrative with a general audience.
2018-2019 Student Research Ambassadors
My name is Erin Choi, and I am a senior biochemistry major. I am currently an undergraduate researcher in the Matouchek lab where my project investigates substrate selection by the proteasome. Outside of the lab, I am a Course Assistant for the Department of Chemistry, where I help students in general chemistry classes. I am also a volunteer at Dell Children’s Medical Center and the Austin Animal Center. After graduating UT, my goal is to go to medical school where I will continue conducting research in the hopes of integrating research into the medical field.
Justin is a 3rd year Biochemistry student, specializing in immunology and synthetic biology research. His interest in medical sciences stemmed from persistent questioning of the natural world combined with experiencing the suffering of loved ones from debilitating autoimmune disease and cancer. Justin is passionate for increasing the awareness of the amount of STEM opportunities that are available at UT, and is currently a peer mentor for the Scientific Inquiry Across Disciplines course in FRI and is a member of the Research Student Advisory council (RSAC) to address this. As a 2018-2019 student research ambassador, he hopes to expand his outreach to incoming students.
Christopher Apgar is a sophomore neuroscience major who has done research on TBI, PTSD, Fragile X Syndrome, ALS and MS. He has been involved in the Undergraduate Research Committee (URC) and the Research Student Advisory Council (RSAC). After graduating from UT, Christopher would like to pursue an MD/PhD which will allow him to teach, research, provide patient care or any combination of those things. One piece of advice he gives to future student researchers: “Do all you can to get involved in some aspect of research and build from there. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors or approach a lab and ask for an opportunity to be involved. Start to develop your research resume by joining clubs or groups that are associated with research and network.”
Senate Undergraduate Research Committee
The Senate of College Councils’ Undergraduate Research Committee (URC) is responsible for promoting and expanding research opportunities to undergraduates and enhancing the undergraduate research experience at the university. Members foster an interconnected undergraduate research community by working closely with programs and organizations on campus that support and facilitate undergraduate research. Other committee responsibilities include administering a $1,000 Undergraduate Research Grant, planning the annual Research Reception to honor excellence in undergraduate research, and co-hosting with the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) the campus-wide Research Week, which is a celebration of undergraduate research and creative activity.
Major: Plan II, Government, and Philosophy
Research Student Advisory Council
RSAC’s mission is to represent students by advising and providing feedback to the OUR; to raise awareness of research opportunities and foster relationships between students and faculty; and to facilitate the effective communication of opinions, ideas, and knowledge regarding undergraduate research between the OUR, the URC, the college councils, and the research-based organizations and programs across campus.