The Undergraduate and Faculty Research program began as an idea Dr. Diane Paige had to emphasize the importance of undergraduate research at SPCC and to be a leader in this area. Dr. Paige tasked Stephen Silvoy, an English instructor, to build the nascent program with the idea of making undergraduate research an inclusive program for all SPCC students. While undergraduate research is prominent for 4-year universities, this type of program does not exist in the vast majority of community colleges. Presently, Gaston Community College is the only other community college in North Carolina offering this type of opportunity to students.
This program is part of SPCC’s High Impact Practices (HIPs), and Stephen is working closely with Ryan Brown (FYE) and Tammi Frailly (Honors, ePortfolio) to develop best practices to help the student body at SPCC become more involved and grow as students.
The Undergraduate and Faculty Research program differs from Honors because it is designed to spark interest and further inquiry in a student who would not normally choose to pursue the honors path. Program participants do not need to have a specific GPA to participate, nor do they need to conduct a prescribed path to reach their goal. Students could create a poster outlining their research, create a product such as a video, or even design and teach a class on a topic such as anime or writing poetry.
The purpose of these Creative Inquiry Projects is to allow students a creative expression outlet to explore and further inquire about a subject that interests them with the help and support of a faculty member. The inquiry can take many shapes and forms and is not limited in scope.
Stephen created a team of SPCC faculty and staff to help him shape this program and get the word out to students. He is also working with the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) to become an Affiliate Partner and utilize their resources to help build the SPCC program and dually build relationships with other programs across the country.
Submitted by Dana Glauner