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Published? As an Undergraduate?

Posted by on Monday, February 6, 2012 in Academics, College Life, General Information, Nature.

There are many opportunities for Vanderbilt undergraduates in terms of being ‘published.’ Authoring or co-authoring an academic work can help enhance a graduate school or job application or even just be a cool random fact. At Vanderbilt, we have the opportunity to be published by simply completing the mandatory course work.This semester, I am involved with two group projects that will take up the entire semester, culminating in publication. The first is in my biology lab and the second is in my honors seminar.

I am enrolled in a special 2-credit biology lab. This lab is special because, not only do we complete the regular weekly labs that are done in all sections, but we also have an ongoing group experiment, culminating in a poster which will be presented to the entire Biological Sciences department. My project analyzes the difference between the water quality of rural and urban streams in the Nashville area. My group works closely with a mentor, who is actually a full-time employee of the department. Our mentor facilitates group discussion and organizes our field trips to collect data. Yes, you read correctly. We go on FIELD TRIPS to parks in the area. Thank you, BSCI 111C for allowing me to experience the beauty of Nashville’s nature while becoming a published author.

My other group project is in a class called Public Opinion and Democracy in Latin America. The class is a political science seminar in which we learn how to analyze public opinion survey data. Our professor happens to be the head of an organization called LAPOP, which is centered here, at Vanderbilt. LAPOP conducts public opinion surveys in 26 countries of the Americas. We have access to all of this data and our final group project includes presenting one specific question asked in the survey. Our report will be published in LAPOP’s standard form and distributed to the public.

Essentially, by the end of this semester I will have two published articles. I can’t wait to see the products of an entire semester’s work. And who knows, maybe I will be famous!

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