Use Fall Break Wisely!

By Sarah Bransley

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Hopefully everyone got to eat some delicious food and has many things to be thankful for today, because school will be back in session before you know it! This means a week or two left of classes before…FINALS! Our best advice to transfer students is to catch up on your studies (or even work ahead!) because these last few weeks go by quickly. Our upcoming blogs will cover the dreaded finals week, useful phone apps, and how we travel on campus during the cold weather. Check back soon to get the know-how from fellow transfer students! In the meantime, enjoy your break and have a happy Thanksgiving!

How to Get Involved in Undergraduate Research

By Sarah Bransley

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is well-known for being a world leader in research. Many students attend UIUC just for the chance to become a part of a research team both as grad students and undergrads. For undergrads, the Office of Undergraduate Research was created to help facilitate such research opportunities.

If you are interested in participating in research as an undergrad, you should first investigate the current research occurring on campus in your field. This is as simple as doing an internet search on the UIUC website focusing on your field of interest. For the School of Integrative Biology, their website categorizes those in the process of research and their different interests. Many labs also have their own websites which includes current and past research conducted. It’s important to investigate labs that are testing hypotheses you find interesting, or your experience won’t be a positive one.

A second step is to talk to your TAs about their experience with research. Most are graduate students and many of them are conducting research while teaching. They are generally happy to talk about what they do! It’s an amazing feeling when you end up having a TA that works in a lab you’re interested in and can be extremely lucrative in the job hunt.

Another step in finding research is to investigate RSOs that help you find research opportunities specifically for your major. For example, Integrative Illini helps Integrative Biology majors find research opportunities. They help by explaining the process of finding a lab, teaching about the professional communication methods, and connecting undergrads with lab managers at special research meetings. Another great RSO is called Research as Students at Illinois. They perform many of the same functions that Integrative Illini does, but they focus on research in different fields instead of just one.

It may be assumed that if you transfer in as a junior or senior it is too late to try and work in research. It’s not! I am currently working at the Institute for Genomic Biology as an undergraduate researcher and was able to land my job through these methods. If you are serious about research, there are opportunities available to you.

TAG Events: Bonfires & Volunteer Opportunities

 By Sarah Bransley

 

It’s that time of year for falling leaves, the smell of wood smoke, and eating s’mores! TAG members braved the one of the first cold days of the season last Sunday at our bonfire event. Huddled around a warm grill, members enjoyed s’mores, hot dogs, and hot chocolate in the scenic atmosphere of Illini Grove.

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Another TAG Meeting was held and TAG members were treated to a guest speaker, Angie Armstrong, from Thomas Paine Elementary School. Angie gave TAG members insights into volunteer opportunities at the local Urbana school systems. This is the second year that TAG members will participate as volunteers in this particular program.

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Following the volunteer presentation we had TAG updates. A large portion of the update was a presentation on the TAG Blog! Members were invited to contribute to the blog and were given a glimpse of the changes planned. Social events, plans for TAG, and other topics were also covered.

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Thank you to everyone who showed up and we hope to see you all at our next event!