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.
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.
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
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:
- Digital Forensics
- Animal Science
- Social Gaming Apps
- Film Making
- Political Science
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
- 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.
- Consult an academic advisor from your department to inquire about faculty members currently conducting research or creative activities in your discipline.
- Consult this listing of SHSU faculty mentors seeking undergraduate students to assist them in ongoing projects. This list is not comprehensive. There are many other faculty members on campus engaged in research and creative activities, but this list can get you started.
- 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.
- 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.
“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.
- 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