OURCA Provides Research Opportunities to CNU Students

An interview with an OURCA Fellow

OURCA Provides Research Opportunities to CNU Students

The Captain’s Log had the opportunity to talk with junior history major Olivia Brubaker about her role as a Fellow for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA). Some CNU students may not even know what an OURCA Fellow is or what they do. This was the case for Brubaker who said that she didn’t know about all that OURCA had to offer until she took a class with Dr. David Salomon, the director of OURCA in her sophomore year. Salomon encouraged her to get involved with their program and its many research opportunities. 

Brubaker enrolled in their Research Apprentice Program (RAP) where she was able to work closely with a CNU faculty member, assisting them in a research project. She worked with Dr. Elizabeth Wood of the Department of History in transcribing documents relating to the registration of free colored peoples in Petersburg Virginia.

If students would like to get involved in RAP they can visit the OURCA office in the Trible Library 230.

Now, as an OURCA Fellow, Brubaker helps run their social media and makes flyers for their many programs and events, such as Passport to Research. She says her favorite part of her job is connecting students with faculty-led research projects through OURCA’s Forager One program. Brubaker explained that students can make an account on foragerone.com and search for faculty members who are conducting research and looking for student involvement. In turn, faculty members can also search for students who are interested in a particular field of research. The site is very user-friendly and an easy way for students to find out what research opportunities are available to them at CNU.

Besides the RAP, OURCA also has an eight week long Summer Scholars program. Students can collaborate with a faculty member, working closely for 40 hours a week and potentially co-publishing a paper. 

In addition, OURCA has many exciting events open to the public in the upcoming months. On Sept. 24, they will host a Summer Scholars Family Weekend Symposium where people can hear Summer Scholars talk about the research that they conducted. On Oct. 28, OURCA is hosting a Thesis Throwdown. At this fast-paced event, students have 3 minutes and only 3 slides to present their thesis and the winner receives a cash prize at the end.