Enhancing Undergraduate Research Experiences and Creative Activities

No matter what your major, SHSU provides many opportunities to participate in faculty-mentored projects specific to your area of study and we encourage you to begin actively engaging in research and creative activities and experiencing your own EURECA moments as early as possible in your academic career.

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Future Student Explorers

Future Student Explorers

  • What is EURECA?

    Research and/or Creative Activities Defined

    Undergraduate research and/or creative activities refers to problem-based learning and encompasses scholarly activities in which students learn the analytical and investigative processes of their discipline in an active manner. It is an introduction to the culture of learning by doing through self-directed inquiry under the guidance and direct supervision of an expert faculty mentor. Students and their mentors collaborate as partners while exploring topics of interest to them. Thus, students become producers, not only consumers, of knowledge.

    Here are some examples of undergraduate research and creative activities at SHSU:

    • Economics
    • Digital Forensics
    • Animal Science
    • Biology
    • Social Gaming Apps
    • Film Making
    • Political Science
    • Music
    • Art
  • Why EURECA?

    In today's competitive job market, exploring opportunities to engage in research and creative activities is one of the best things that you can do to enhance your resume while in school. By engaging in Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities:

    • You will develop a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a faculty mentor
    • It can help clarify your academic and career interests and goals
    • You will acquire knowledge in your academic field that transcends classroom study
    • It enhances critical skills in communication, independent thinking, creativity, and problem solving
    • It encourages creativity and flexibility in thought
    • It enhances your professional and academic credentials to support applications for scholarships, awards, employment, and entry into graduate and professional schools
    • It cultivates leadership and teamwork skills
    • You will engage in the creation of new knowledge on the cutting edge of an academic discipline and apply that knowledge to real-world problems
  • What will you discover?
    1. Start by talking with faculty you know. Talk to current and past professors from courses you have done well in and have enjoyed. Even if the professor is not currently seeking an undergraduate researcher, he or she may know of colleagues that are seeking assistants within your discipline.
    2. Consult an academic advisor from your department to inquire about faculty members currently conducting research or creative activities in your discipline.
    3. Read the faculty profiles from your home department. This is perhaps the best way to learn more about what types of research, scholarship, or creative activities are typical in your field, and it will assist you in determining what type scholarly activities interest you. For those interested in traditional research, many faculty web pages list some of their scholarly publications. It is a good idea to read some of these if possible.
    4. Talk to other undergraduates in your major who are currently engaged in research or creative activities. They can let you know how they got their foot in the door.

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  • About EURECA

    Mission Statement

    The SHSU Center for Enhancing Undergraduate Research Experiences and Creative Activities (EURECA) advances the culture of scholarly and creative excellence by cultivating and developing faculty-mentored, discipline-specific inquiry among undergraduate students. The Center also educates undergraduate students about how discipline-specific inquiry enriches the academic experience and helps them realize professional goals.

    Vision Statement

    To prepare Sam Houston State University undergraduate students to compete successfully for outstanding graduate and professional programs and equip them to join a globally engaged professional and creative community. The EURECA Center will pursue its vision by:

    • increasing the visibility and awareness of opportunities for SHSU undergraduate students to engage in research and creative activities;
    • supporting and enhancing existing undergraduate student-faculty research projects and creative activities;
    • initiating and supporting new undergraduate student-faculty research projects and creative activities; and
    • showcasing research conducted by SHSU undergraduate student-faculty teams
  • Morgan Crews

    The biggest finding I had was that collaboration is very key to student learning and engagement. The students much preferred creating in groups rather than on their own. Even when they did the individual timelines, they gave one another ideas to help each other create. I also learned that being prepared and having a backup plan is imperative to situations like the camp.

    — Morgan Crews

  • Morgan Crews

    I feel even more prepared to start working in an environment like the one we created over the summer. I’m ready to continue my career as an animator, working with motivated people who love animation, in order to create even more personally meaningful work like “A Girl Like Me”. Thanks to the FAST Grant, I feel more confident than ever that computer animation is the career path for me. I look forward to applying my animation skills and working with more teams on new projects in the future.

    — Lee Contreras

  • Morgan Crews

    This experience was invaluable to me. The FAST Grant provided me a way to better understand how animation works and learn while making a film. The film, “A Girl Like Me” was a true product of a good message we all wanted to get out into the world. I am still in awe that I was a part of making an animation with a wholesome message that will be a key learning experience for a generation.

    — Hannah Trinidad

  • Morgan Crews

    Having this opportunity to work closely with a team has shown me how professional animations are made and what steps are taken in the process. I gained hands on experience with each part of the pipeline and now know I prefer to work on storyboarding and visual development. During this, I learned my strengths and weaknesses and how to push through them and work with others to create something big. I’ve never worked a project this big with other people before so seeing the end product and how each of us contributed to it makes me feel very lucky to have been a part of it.

    — Julien Anderson

  • Morgan Crews

    "This research project allowed me to experience a programmer’s working environment and also taught me how to work on a program as a team and not as an individual. It also allowed me to improve my research and communication skills. I believe these lessons will assist me in my education and professional life in the computer science department."

    — Noman Khalid

“The ecology of the university depends on a deep and abiding understanding that inquiry, investigation, and discovery are the heart of the enterprise…Everyone at a university should be a discoverer, a learner. That shared mission binds together all that happens on a campus.”

-- Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in a Research University, 1998

Sam Houston State University recognizes the value of undergraduate scholarship—both for our students and our faculty members. The term “scholarship” is meant in the largest possible sense, embracing all disciplines; at the same time, it is shorthand for a much broader world that encompasses all forms of creative activity, scholarship, application and discovery.

It includes:

  • research in the traditional sense (such as a team of scientists working in a laboratory or field setting)
  • scholarly works in the humanities and social sciences and
  • creative activities engaged in by artists and performers