Let's take a walk down memory lane...
Officially opened in the spring semester of 2006, The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is the culmination of six years of work on the part of dedicated faculty. These faculty foster student success through the application and enhancement of critical thinking: creating and cultivating ideas, formulating a set of rigorous questions, and proposing solutions. Bridgewater faculty had long been involved in mentoring students when five faculty members presented on their own positive and diverse experiences in undergraduate research at a Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CART) celebration in the Spring of 2000. Drs. Ed Brush (Chemistry), Ann Brunjes (English), Kevin Curry (Biology), Andrew Harris (History), and Peter Saccocia (Earth Science) described the personally fulfilling, student centered teaching and research they were conducting around campus. Our then president Dr. Adrian Tinsley took notice and asked for a proposal for a full-blown funding program to support Undergraduate Research. This program, originally named BUROP (The Bridgewater Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program), became, at Dr. Tinsley's retirement, The Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research (ATP).
Between 2000 and 2006, ATP has funded an ever expanding number of mentored research and creative projects and supported travel to conferences at both the undergraduate and professional levels for both students and faculty engaged in undergraduate research. Its budget and programming has expanded every year due to the continued commitment of the founding members of ATP, the infusion of fresh ideas from many other interested faculty, the explosion of interest and dedication on the part of Bridgewater undergraduates, as well as the generous financial support offered by The Office of the President under both Dr. Tinsley and now Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria as well as from The Bridgewater State University Foundation.
In addition to ATP programming, the campus supports The Shea Scholar Program and the Honors Program, which serve students in various disciplines on campus, and the Norris Richards Undergraduate Program, which supports student research in the Natural Sciences. As more and more opportunities for mentored work became available to the campus, the need for an office dedicated to advocating for undergraduate research and the faculty and students involved in it became clear. ATP proposed the creation of such an office in the Summer of 2005, and the proposal was whole-heartedly endorsed by both Academic Affairs and the Office of the President. The creation of the OUR marks the beginning of an exciting time of expansion for undergraduate research campus-wide, helping to insure Bridgewater's commitment to an exceptional and affordable education.
Last Modified: October 21, 2010
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