Undergraduate Research Opportunity Center
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Celebrating Undergraduate Research!
UGR Week & Spring Showcase!
By the first week of every April, UROC begins finalizing preparations for Undergraduate Research (UGR) week, a nationally recognized celebration of undergraduate researchers and their academic achievements. Traditionally, CSUMB celebrates UGR week by proudly displaying the posters of current researchers around campus and hosting various staff- and student-run events leading up to the Spring Showcase. We are happy to say that this years festivities will continue with the help of our dedicated staff and students. Virtual presentations and workshops will be still he held. Visit our Undergraduate Research Week and Spring Showcase page for more details.
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CSU Student Research Competition 2020
The CSU Student Research Competition is an annual competition open to the 27 CSU campuses. Students across all disciplines present research in a lecture format for a panel of judges and students have the chance to win a number of awards. This year's competition, which was set to take place at CSU East Bay on April 24-25, will be hosted virtually. Congratulations to the six CSUMB delegates (five undergrads, one alumni) who were selected to represent CSUMB. Be sure to check out their presentations on website starting April 24th!
We asked Danielle Layne, a UROC Scholar who competed at last year's competition, to reflect on her experience. Here's what she had to say:

"The CSU Student Research Competition is similar to other conferences that undergraduate researchers attend. We prepare a presentation, everyone is very nervous as we eagerly await our turn to present. However, there are only oral presentations here so the stakes are much higher. This was the first time I had given an oral presentation off campus so to compete with others from all over the state was nerve-wrecking. There are about 3 judges per category in the classroom you present in while mentors, other presenters, and family and friends sit in the rows behind. The competition goes on for two days. Awards in each category are announced at the conclusion. The experience was great and I'm glad I did it"
Rosalba Saavedra (left) and Danielle Layne (right) at the Student Research Competition 2019 at CSU Fullerton
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Taking Research Beyond CSUMB
Conferences are a major milestone in any undergraduates' studies. That's why UROC supports students to participate at conferences across the country! But what makes a conference such a big step? Conferences are the perfect arena to showcase yourself and your research. An eye catching presentation is the first way to draw attention. Potential employers or mentors are actively recruiting students so it's important to make a powerful first impression.

Above all, conferences are for networking. A student should also also keep their resume, CV, and/or business cards close because, chances are they will run into someone who will ask for it. Students look forward to making connections with other researchers across the country, and across the globe, depending on the conference, all at various stages in their research careers. Making lasting relationships with other people in the same field is one of the quickest ways for students to feel like they are a part of a larger community. And that sense of belonging is the ultimate motivation to continue working toward their goals.

If you are interested in going to a conference, UROC is interested in helping you get there. Visit our Travel Awards page for more details.
Maximilian Gastelum-Morales, McNair Scholar and Kinesiology Major presenting his poster to an observer at the International Conference on Education
(Left to Right) Joaquin Sanchez Ibarra, Austin Diaz, Megan Salomonson, Jada Carter, and Isabella McCrory at the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in STEM Conference.
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Our New Virtual Source for Research Info!
Despite the Stay-at-Home order , UROC is still working to answer your research related questions. We are proud to announce that we will be launching a brand new YouTube page full of new content to explore, UROC Chalk Talk. The videos will cover various topics regarding getting involved with research on and off campus as well as how to get involved in research extracurriculars. If there's a topic that you'd like to know more about, feel free to follow the Ask a Question link in the description.
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Our Work at Gonzales Continues...
Even a pandemic won’t stop dedicated Gonzales High Seniors from preparing for their future! Despite the possibility of canceling the last Gonzales Senior Swarm workshop of the semester on April 1st. However, wanting to offer support and resources to their peers,  Gonzales Youth Commissioners , Isabel Mendoza, Amy Perez, and Madisyn Schweitzer, said that the show must go on!

Working closely with the Commissioners, UROC McNair Scholar, Selena Velasquez (pictured right), along with support from UROC Staff, presented to the graduating seniors about the purpose of resumes and interviews. With a quaint group, they were able to have engaging discussions on how to avoid common mistakes made in resumes and some good aspects that they can include while developing their own. Additionally, participants learned about the importance of utilizing their "real estate" effectively and how transferable skills are the key to building up their resume. Participants also got a glimpse of curriculum vitaes to give them a bit of an edge as they enter college. The workshop wrapped up by talking about the different types of interviews and practicing one of the most common questions one encounters during a resume: “Tell me about yourself.” They concluded by watching a video that showed some tips on how to deliver a brief yet informative answer to this tricky question.

Passing the torch  

As she prepares to graduate, Selena is super excited to pass the reins on to UROC McNair Scholar and Gonzales High alumni, Selina Espinoza, and to continue the great work with the Youth Commissioners! Selena says, “I am so honored to have had this position! A HUGE thank you to Natasha Ohleman and Eric Barajas for all the wonderful support! And a great thanks to Selina — I’m positive the project will be in great hands next year!”
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Congratulations to our Goldwater Scholars!

Established in 1947, the Barry Goldwater scholarship is a tribute to the life and service of former US Senator, Barry Goldwater. This year, 396 deserving students across the nation were recipients of this prestigious award. Among the 396 are Nicholas Heyer and Samantha Miller, two of our very own UROC Scholars. Check out their story on the CSUMB Website .
Nicholar Heyer, Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Scholar, UROC Scholar, and molecular biology and mathematics major
Samantha Miller, UROC Scholar and molecular biology major
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Working & Volunteering During the Pandemic
For those students interested in getting experience during this time, many companies are seeking motivated individuals to help provide resources and services during the pandemic. Food banks, laboratories, and online education programs, among others, are all accepting help from the community. Find your local organizations and reach out. With an opportunity like this open doors are sure to follow.

As the university continues monitoring and taking direction from public health experts in assessing the evolving situation of COVID-19, we encourage of all members of our community to continue treating one another with compassion and respect. We also urge you stay aware by regularly visiting the CSUMB COVID-19 webpage .
Stay safe and healthy!
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*Research Spotlight* .

The STEM Ed Research Group (SERG) at UROC works to help improve teaching and learning at CSUMB. One of our projects, "Equity in CUREs," uses survey and focus group data to examine student experiences in "course-based undergraduate research experiences," or "CUREs." These courses are designed to ensure that every science student at CSUMB has an opportunity to participate in research, even if they do not have time to participate in extracurricular research opportunities. The SERG team analyzes data from these classes to help faculty improve their CURE courses from one semester to the next. Most recently, the data we gathered and analyzed was used at a faculty professional development workshop here at CSUMB in January 2020, and has been presented at national and international education conferences. Another of our projects, "Growing as Writers at CSUMB," uses interviews and other data from previous generations of students to investigate how writing opportunities can amplify the benefits of participating in undergraduate research. Together, these two projects provide insights that we hope will be useful for students and faculty through the CSU system and beyond. SERG members (listed alphabetically) include Lily Amador, Emily Beasley, Krysta Malech, Selena Velasquez, and Viviana Vigil.
Miscellaneous Virtual Events
4 . 20. 20 and 4. 21. 20
CUR Virtual Poster on the Hill
Join the Council of Undergraduate Research online for their virtual posters on the hill research symposium. To see how research connects to Congress and policy, click here for more details.
4 . 22 . 20 @ 3:00 PM
Grad School 101
Interested in going to graduate school, but not sure where to start? Join us and TRiO for this low-stakes introduction to graduate school and learn more about the admission process. Led by Don Asher, author of many higher education books. All students and staff interested in participating must RSVP .
4 . 28 . 20 from 12 - 1 PM
Yoga Henna and Sweatshops:
Cultural Appropriation of South Asian Culture
4 . 23. 20 @ 4:00 PM
Virtual Happy Hour
This special faculty-only event will offer an opportunity for UROC Mentors and interested faculty for a virtual discussion on how to continue supporting and engaging undergraduate students in scholarly activity -- all while sipping from your favorite drink. Email UROC for details.
4 . 23 . 20 from 12 - 1 PM
Ramadan 101
4 . 28. 20 @ 11:00 AM PST
CUR Virtual Grant Writing Workshop
This webinar will cover basic grant writing tips, the proposal evaluation process and highlight PRF funding opportunities directed specifically to primarily undergraduate institutions. The webinar is recommended to both professors who are seeking funding for research programs and institution grant offices. Register here !
Chat with us!
Want to get involved in research but don't know where to start? Set up a virtual consultation on the UROC website!