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Mechanical Engineering Freshman Named Research Scholar

September 13, 2016

Narisse Trippel, a freshman in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, earned a spot in the 2016-17 class of student researchers in the Wyoming Research Scholars Program (WRSP).

Trippel, who is from Worland, Wyo., was among 22 new and returning University of Wyoming students who received the honor, announced Tuesday.

The WRSP, a UW Science Initiative-supported program, pairs undergraduate students with faculty mentors who can model the scholarship, teaching, service and outreach activities of a professional scientist. Research Scholars are selected based on research proposals, academic records and letters of recommendation.

“The program provides hands-on, cutting-edge research opportunities that represent the pinnacle of active learning, which is the direction we aim to go at UW in terms of student learning and student success,” says Jamie Crait, WRSP director.

Starting as early as their freshman year, science students can participate in significant research experiences. The WRSP funds students’ salaries for their work on research projects, covers the costs of some lab supplies and provides funding for students to present their work at professional conferences. Funding also is available for summer research. Research Scholars must participate in a one-credit seminar class each year to learn about the scientific process, ethics, public speaking and writing. Additionally, students gain experience in communicating science to public audiences through outreach activities such as discussing their research with K-12 students.

Crait says faculty and staff involved with the program want to create a sense of community where students from diverse science departments interact and share their research with each other throughout the year.

“The program is an interdisciplinary one, so the students are able to benefit from learning from their peers in other science fields, which is exactly how they will eventually work with colleagues in their future professions,” he says.

Students continue to be eligible for WRSP funding if they maintain a 3.3 GPA and make consistent progress as a full-time student toward a degree.

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