Undergraduate research expert Jenny Olin Shanahan will be hosting a lecture at MSU on Saturday, Sept. 14. The lecture titled “Transforming Your Future through Undergraduate Research”, will focus on the scope and importance of undergraduate research. Shanahan’s lecture connects to the Year of Undergraduate Research at MSU, a program during the 2019-20 school year to showcase and encourage research at the university.

As a mentor for undergraduate research, Shanahan has focused on reimagining research. Her claim is that research does not have to be conducted in a lab; rather, research should focus on the nature of exploration. Shanahan has authored five books on undergraduate research in the realm of arts and humanities, working closely in the past with MSU music professor Greg Young. 

Shanahan defines research as an inquiry or investigation that can be used to better society and wanting to make a contribution is more important than the contribution itself. The criteria for undergraduate research is as follows: original work without a specifically desired outcome, overseen by a mentor, and appropriate to the field and having a broad audience. 

The lecture will be held in the SUB at 3:30 p.m. It is part of the Honors College Freshman Research Symposium in correspondence with the Undergraduate Scholars Program. On Friday, Sept. 13, Shanahan will also be conducting a workshop for faculty committed to mentoring undergraduate research. Both events are free and open to the public.

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