SURE Marks 25th Year of Redefining Undergraduate Research

From discovering a new species of bacteria to uncovering the motivations of an enigmatic Russian poet, undergraduate research at Stonehill is broad and varied. You will even find students working closely with faculty on graduate-level research as early as the summer after their first year. Our programs are also distinctive for the range of available opportunities, within and across disciplines, to complete in-depth inquiry in the social sciences, natural sciences and the humanities.

Faculty Mentors

As a primarily undergraduate institution, Stonehill provides an environment where faculty can focus on the needs and interests of each student. These close-knit relationships provide the perfect foundation for student-centered undergraduate research opportunities. As leaders in their field, Stonehill professors can meet students at whatever point they are and help to foster their passions with meaningful feedback. Under this close guidance and direction, our students are well prepared for wherever their postgraduate pursuits take them.

Directed Study

Although Stonehill’s Cornerstone Program covers a breadth of topics, a student may develop a passion for a subject not available in the current course offerings. Our flexible curriculum allows students to collaborate with trusted faculty members to develop a Directed Study for academic credit. Typically grounded in a student’s area of concentration or in a field for which a student has completed related coursework, Directed Study is a chance to complete an in-depth investigation closely guided by a faculty member who shares similar interests.

Recent Directed Study Topics

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Aesthetics of Acting
  • Biological Literature
  • Breaking Bad
  • Chinese Soap Operas
  • Dance and Youth
  • Designing a Web App
  • Digital Illustration
  • Environmental Economics
  • Executive Reporting
  • Microfinance
  • Modern Ireland
  • Schizophrenia
  • Spiritual Writing
  • Women and War

Independent Research

Like Directed Study, Independent Research is an opportunity for students to expand on Stonehill’s curriculum. A student who wants to do his or her own self-directed research, with helpful guidance from a faculty member when needed, generally pursues an Independent Research project. Student-led and –designed, these projects earn academic credit, can last a semester or more, and often help students to define their post-graduate interests and future goals.

Recent Independent Research Topics

  • Behavioral Evolution
  • Floral Genetics
  • Financial Contagion
  • Homeric Ritual
  • Iminosugar Synthesis
  • Indigenous Religions
  • Inmate Self-Control
  • Group Decisions
  • Myth & History
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Planet Cores
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Quantum Imaging
  • Refugee Policy

Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

For nearly 20 years, the Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) has given Stonehill students an outstanding opportunity to be part of a community of scholars. Those accepted into the program as SURE Scholars receive a stipend for an eight- or ten-week full-time summer session and complete intensive research projects in the liberal arts, business, education and the sciences alongside knowledgeable faculty mentors. 

Through in-depth study, SURE projects help students define and solidify career choices and provide a competitive advantage when applying to graduate school. Many participants also go on to co-publish results in professional journals or present research conclusions at regional and national conferences.

Recent SURE Projects

  • ALICE Training Literature Review and Research Design
  • How biochemical pathways interact in the hypothalamus during obesity
  • A Newly Proposed Method to Prevent Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Understanding Risk Factor Reduction Behaviors for COVID-19 in College Students and Mental Health Awareness and Behavior Management in College Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Design of Self-Assembling DNA Complexes
  • Organic synthesis projects
  • Health Disparities across Race in Adults with Disabilities and A National Debrief for Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS)
  • Procedural Generation of Vegetation Maps
  • New methods for sequencing ancient DNA (aDNA) from packrat (Neotoma spp.)
  • Ecological and economic valuation of the natural areas at Stonehill College
  • Phage Display Applied to the Identification of Peptides that Bind Targets of Interest
  • Whither the Middle Class? Capitalism, the Middle Class, and Democracy
  • Lusophone Communities and the American Dream? An inquiry into the political economy of lusophone immigrant communities in Rhode Island and the South Shore of Massachusetts
  • Measuring the Effects of Gold Nanoparticles on Femtosecond Laser Pulses
  • Mathematics Research Experiences for Undergraduates
  • The waters of the Gulf of Maine (GOM): Analyzing Model Skill: A Comparative Study of Pathways in the Gulf of Maine (Calabro) and Analyzing Variability in the Gulf of Maine's Spring Bloom (Kime)
  • Various computational chemistry projects
  • Synthesis of a Difluoromethyl Derivative of Bobbitt’s Salt
  • Investigation of Alkoxide Initiators for Difluoromethylation
  • An Exploration for Genetic Ancestry Testing
  • Efficacy of Diversity and Inclusion Coursework on Implicit Bias
  • Effect of Musical Familiarity on the Perception of Rudimentary Tones
  • Meditation and Academic Stress
  • The Interpretation of Dreams
  • A Genetic Investigation of Species Limits in Meadowhawk Dragonflies
  • Effect of light pollution on burying beetle behavior and immune function
  • Physiology of friendship – How do guppies become familiar enough to cooperate?
  • Quantifying variation in sensory sensitivity, responsiveness to social partners, and cooperative antipredator behavior in Trinidadian guppies

Research Facilities and Resources

Students also take advantage of regional resources such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Harvard Libraries, MIT Media Lab, Hemingway Theatre, the VA Boston Healthcare System in Brockton, and various community groups and organizations in and around Greater Boston.

Off-Campus Summer Research Programs

Stonehill students participate in highly competitive and prestigious summer research programs working in university and industry labs across the country and around the world. Students collaborate one-on-one with seasoned practitioners, learning what it’s like to be part of a research team and gaining hands-on experience for the future. 

Examples

  • Judith P. Sulzberger Internship Program at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Nanotechnology at UMass, Amherst
  • Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s Summer Program
  • New England Primate Research Center Summer Training Program
  • National Science Foundation-Thai Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Chemistry at Chulabhorn Research Institute in Bangkok, Thailand
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) International Research Experience for Undergraduates (IREU) Summer Program at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  • Amgen Summer Scholars Program at the University of California, San Diego
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Program in Organic Chemistry at Columbia University

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Contact Information

Duffy Academic Center – Room 134

The Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program is an opportunity for students who have completed their first year at Stonehill to perform significant, publishable full-time research under the guidance of and in collaboration with an experienced faculty researcher.