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FIG Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice meeting Minutes of 10/28/2022

KCC FIG – Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice

Minutes of the Meeting of Fri, 10/28/2022, 10:00am via Zoom

Mary Theresa Ortiz – Facilitator

Present:  Grace Axler-DiPerte (KCC BIO Faculty), Shawna Brandle (KCC Hist/Phil/Pol Sci Faculty),

Christina Colon (KCC BIO Faculty), Jodie Delsol (KCC STEM Advisor), Mary Theresa Ortiz (KCC BIO Faculty)

Meeting began at 10:00am.

  1. Mary welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.
  2. Grace shared her attempts to reach out to other CUNY faculty to do research with her BIO50 (General Microbiology) in the spring. Christina shared she has microbiome data she is willing to share on horseshoe crabs, Eukaryotes, Prokaryotes and sediments.  If Grace will not be able to collect data this spring, she will work with Christina to use these data.   Christina has data sets students can use on soil profiles.  Mary shared that she did this last spring when she used oyster data Kristin Polizzotto collected to have her BIO9100 (Biostatistics) students analyze and study.  Mary suggested Grace check with Craig Hinkley on analyzing genetic data as he is knowledgeable about Bioinformatics.
  3. Shawna shared that she has a grant for a student research lab.  She will have three students working with her who have not been selected yet.  She will be studying in social science Historically Marginalized People in American Government.  She is working on getting IRB approval but has had difficulties because to sign up students she needs IRB approval, but she cannot sign up the students until she has IRB approval.  We discussed this situation.  Christina was able to get an IRB exemption for a cohort of students on a project. There was discussion on putting students as PIs on grants and putting names and changing them later through IRB revisions.  There is a new IRB Coordinator at CUNY Central.
  4. There was discussion as Shawna is embarking on her research project and Grace, Christina and Mary offered insight/advice as follows:
    1. Give the students deadlines for various pieces of the work, or work with the students to develop deadlines to that the work progresses in a timely fashion.
    2. Start with more students so that by the end of the project you have enough students, because some may opt to discontinue.
    3. Students sometimes came become overwhelmed with the project. Look at what needs to be done and set mini goals so that over time the whole project is completed.
    4. Some students are more capable of higher-level thinking and can manage more than others. Tailor projects accordingly.  Use pictures, data, audio.
    5. Let the students know that we do not know what we are going to get when we do research, and that’s part of the excitement of it.
    6. Negative data are still data.
    7. Impress upon students the importance of maintaining constants so they do not become variables.
    8. Especially in a new project, rely on a collaborator. Be transparent.  Make scientists understand the abilities of the students.
    9. There are apps that may help depending on the area (ex. the Merlin app for bird chirps, the SEEK by iNaturalist app for identifying species).
  5. Christina shared she uses Pivot tables in Excel and taught her students to use them as well in their research.
  6. We congratulated Jodie on earning her Doctorate degree. She is helping to train new STEM advisors (E102).
  7. Anyone wanting to use the STEM Lab (Library) for use with Melissa Riggio students, contact Michael Danza.
  8. The next meeting of our FIG will be on Fri, Dec 2, 2022, at 10am via Zoom (Zoom info to be sent out).

Meeting adjourned at 11:00am.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz

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