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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Undergraduate Research Center
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Available Undergraduate Positions

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The following faculty are seeking undergraduates to participate in their undergraduate research, scholarly or creative activities. Please contact the faculty member for more information.


Name: Harry Jones
Department: ECET
Office: TN 253, Phone: 507-389-1142
Description of Project: Development of student project and faculty research resources in Power Electronics, renewable energy systems and facilities energy management systems. Conducting research in power electronics and renewable energy systems. Developing and teaching continuing education courses in power electronics and renewable energy systems.
Mentor Expectations: Interest in electric energy systems and associated enabling technologies (power electronics, energy storage and management etc.);
Desired Skill Set/Courses Completed: Extensive industry experience in the design, installation and commissioning of electrical power services and systems for indiustrial, commercial and insitutional facilities; PhD in Power electronics and associated digital control; Licensed Professional Engineer (Power); Senior Member of the IEEE; Senior Member, Association of Energy Engineers. 


Name: Gina Wenger
Department: Art, Office: Nelson Hall 121
Phone: 507-389-5484
Description of Project: I am interested in both Research and Creative Works. My background is in sculpture and photography as well as teaching. My personal interests include divergent thinking and interdisciplinary research. I am happy to work with another advisor as well.
Mentor Expectations: I would like to see the progress of your work from beginning to end. Please do not wait until the last minute to contact me because research and creative works both take time and development. I don't even mind working over the course of 2 years to make sure you reach your goals.
Desired Skill Set/Courses Completed: If you are working on an interdisciplinary project, please have your introductory level classes completed. I will work with Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors but you need to be ready to focus. If you are a Freshman and just want to know more  and get started, give me a call. 


Name: Chris Corley
Department: History, Office: MH 265
Phone: 507-389-5191
Description of Project: I have several ongoing projects related to seventeenth and eighteenth-century French social history available for students, depending on their level of expertise. Students can investigate women's history through tax records, the history of childhood through orphanage records, or the history of young people through criminal court records. All of the records have been photographed from the archives in Dijon, France and are available for student use.
Mentor Expectations: Expectations are negotiated with the student prior to engaging in the research activity. I teach the students how to read the handwriting (a skill called paleography) and I introduce historical methods to them. My students co-develop the syllabus with me, earn credit for their experience, and complete their projects through a formal presentation at a conference, a research paper, a publication, or all three. Most projects take two semesters, and sometimes a summer, to complete.
Desired Skill Set/Courses Completed: Students should have an intermediate-low knowledge of French (equivalent of French 202) and an interest in history.


Name: Leon Chen
Department: Finance, Office: MH238
Phone: 507-389-5336
Description of Project: anything that may be of student's interest in Finance/Insurance area. If students cannot identify one, I will find a topic for him/her.
Mentor Expectations: to finish a paper and to present it at a conference
Desired Skill Set/Courses Completed: inquisitive, persistent, and good math/statistics skills. Need to have completed (or at least willing to take) the Econometrics course (ECON 463). 


Name: Mary Susan Johnston
Department: English, Office: 201D Armstrong Hall
Phone: 507-389-1155
Description of Project: Literature - British, American, World, Contemporary World Literature

Name: Elizabeth Sandell
Department: Educational Studies Office: 329-E Armstrong Hall
Phone: 507-389-5713
Description of Project: Changes in Cultural Competency among Undergraduates during a Human Relations Course. This applied research study examined the effectiveness of active learning strategies on the cultural competency of undergraduate students in a Human Relations course at Minnesota State University. The research team will include one university professor, one graduate student and approximately five undergraduate research assistants. Subjects will include students between 18 and 35 years old who voluntarily enrolled in the 16-week course from a variety of academic majors, such elementary education, sports management, social work, mass communications, journalism, and pre-professional studies (e.g., mortuary science, veterinary medicine, physical therapy). The Student Research Assistant will work with a team of students and a Faculty Member on research projects. The Faculty Member will identify one or more Student Research Assistants to help with projects. The Faculty Member will act as a mentor, regularly providing counsel and direction on how to conduct the research. Benefits of working as a Student Research Assistant: Gain significant insight into the world of academic research; Learn specific skills that will help later in design and conducting scholarly research projects; Be involved in research typically only available to advanced graduate students and faculty members; Learn high-level project planning and research skills; Learn a wide variety of research approaches and terminology.
Mentor Expectations: Participation may be voluntary, without undergraduate credit, or may be for credit if registered for EEC 240 Research. Schedule: 8 to 15 hours each week during the academic semesters and/or during summer session. Hours are flexible, depending on the student's academic schedule. Responsibilities of a Student Research Assistant may include: Transcribing audiotapes or videotapes; Read, analyze, write, perform research in library, interview, edit, present and evaluate data; Developing and using coding manual for observations; Scheduling appointments with research subjects; Gathering information from research subjects; Participate in oral presentation at undergraduate research conferences at MSU, in Minnesota, and at National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
Desired Skill Set/Courses Completed: Requirements of a Student Research Assistant: Admission to Minnesota State University, Mankato; Demonstrated understanding of English grammar and language structure; Demonstrated skill in written communication; Ability to work harmoniously with other students, faculty and other research assistants; Skills in software related to word processing, data analysis, and reporting; Project management, time management, and organizational skills. 


Name: Andi Lassiter
Department: Psychology, Office: WC332
Phone: 507-389-5734
Description of Project: I'd like to start some basic literature-review type research, possibly leading to a survey-based data collection on interdisciplinary learning. Another possibility is for archival research on transfer students and degree completion. I expect the literature would be cross-disciplinary, but mostly in education. I'd like for the practical aspects of this project to relate to the "real-world thinking" of our university's mission, and with the MNSCU goal for 4-year institutions to partner with 2-year institutions more. Ultimately, I see this line of research helping to answer the following questions: How can we foster interdisciplinary learning, and how can we do this effectively with bachelor's completion programs targeted toward transfer students? What are differences between transfer and native students at this institution?
Mentor Expectations: A successful mentor would be dependable, highly motivated, and flexible. I'm willing to work with a student from any discipline. It would be great to have a transfer student who has experience with both two-year and four-year institutions.
Desired Skill Set/Courses Completed: an interest in higher education 


Name: Kristin Scott
Department: Marketing
Office: MH 239   Phone: 507-389-2324
Description of Project: Any consumer behavior research project that you are interested in. In the past, I have worked with students on sustainability, social media, and the American Dream.


Name: Christopher Stevens
Department: Philosophy
Office: AH 207D Phone: 507-389-2012
Description of Project: Preparation of either (1) paper for submissions to conference or (2) essays for submission to journal.
Mentor Expectations: Meeting twice a month (at times more often). Timely submission of research reports and drafts.
Desired Skill Set/Courses Completed: Introduction level philosophy course with grade of B or better.


First Name: Kellian
Last Name: Clink
Department: Library
Office: ML 3071
Phone: 507 389 5152
Description of Project: I am willing to help students with research about: queer studies academic advising library research/students in the library/ journalism publishing
Mentor Expectations: I expect that students come with an inquisitive mind and a willingness to explore different means of finding the answers!