Guest Writer: Brandon Look Fong on the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program

Once you get into research here at Texas A&M, you have many options. You can stay in a lab for many years or just a semester; focus on abstract ideas or practice bench work. However, with whatever you choose, you have the option to participate in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URS). Through this program students are able to not only share their work and findings with the academic community, but also publish their work through the same publishing house that holds graduate dissertations.

During my time in the program, I was met with a plethora of support and opportunities. From my principal investigator, Dr. Sarah Bondos, to the LAUNCH staff running the program, I always felt I had the support I needed to be successful. The URS program, which lasts a year, provides a multitude of seminars on improving your writing, asking the right questions, and maintain motivation. Additionally, the URS thesis reviewers are available for questions through the duration of the program and the university writing center provides a program in which you can work on your thesis with the same reviewer through the year. Moreover, the URS program was designed in a way to spread out the workload by breaking the thesis up into many installations. These programs, opportunities, and structuring were developed specifically to maximize student success and minimize student stress.

Following my completion of the program, I earned a medal for my graduation and an official designation on my transcript as a URS scholar. Moreover, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment and joy as my work had been successfully published and I felt a sense of fulfillment because all the time I spent working on my project had finally come to fruition. If you are currently or planning on doing research, I highly recommend you check out the URS program.