Meet Undergraduate Researcher Anuoluwapo Osideko

Are there any connections between social needs and chronic conditions when dealing with uninsured patients utilizing free clinics? How can free clinics progress with 47 million left uninsured? When African transnational migrant women are forced to work in the United States, how does it affect the entire family in regards to their diet? These are questions that Anuoluwapo Osideko sought answer to while conducting an individual research project and working as an undergraduate researcher in Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“That’s the greatest part about research- it is the fact that I am the one who creates questions that don’t have answers,” says Anuoluwapo Osideko, an undergraduate conducting research in Community Health.

Anuoluwapo realized just how much she loved research when she began an Introduction to Research course with Dr. Priscilla Fortier. In her sophomore year she was accepted into the McNair Scholars Program, for students interested in pursuing a PhD., and began work with Community Health lecturer, Dr. S. Notaro who assisted with her first project, which focused on those who are uninsured in Champaign-Urbana and utilizing free clinics in the community. She stayed with Dr. S. Notaro from her sophomore year till now, as she continued to conduct her independent research titled, “The Analysis of Social Needs and Chronic Conditions of the Uninsured Utilizing a Free Clinic.” She began working with two Community Health doctoral students, Kelechi Ibe-Lamberts, and Daudet Ilunga Tshiswaka, under Prof. Schwingel Aging and Diversity Lab in their pilot project called “Understanding Transnational African Migrants Health Behaviors: The Case of Diet.” She stayed as a research assistant through her junior and senior years, contributing to their umbrella project. She is looking forward to seeing her name included on the project paper, which will be submitted for publication.

“Coming to UIUC, I imagined myself working with molecules in a Molecular and Cellular Biology lab, I never saw myself conducting research,” Anuoluwapo says. “What answers could I possibly be looking for in healthcare? But that’s the greatest part about research, it is the fact that I am the one who creates questions that don’t have answers.” A soon-to-be 2015 graduate, Anuoluwapo is applying to Master’s in Public Health programs and hopes to begin a Ph.D. program immediately after. Ultimately, she would like to teach at the collegiate level, just like her mentor while conducting research.


The Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship- Applications due 12/14/14

The Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship is currently seeking proposals for unique and thought-provoking research or creative projects related to mental health!
The Emerging Scholars Fellowship program aims to expand the body of literature, creative expression, and discourse devoted to mental health with a particular emphasis on issues relevant to young adult communities. The Fellowship program encourages creativity in the development of a project that reflects interest in behavioral health issues; a wide range of project types are likely to receive funding. Emerging Scholars will be awarded a $1,000 stipend to support their work and may apply for an additional $250 in reimbursement for material expenses.
Project proposals will be accepted until 9:00pm ET on Sunday, December 14, 2014.  Preference will be given to early submissions.  Please download the 2015 Call for Proposals online at  Completed proposals must be submitted using our online form, also online.  All applicants will be notified by January 12.  The Emerging Scholars Fellowship encourages proposals from all interested currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and is dedicated to maximizing diversity within the Scholar network.
The Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship, generously supported by the Scattergood Foundation for Behavioral Health, provides an opportunity for students to complete funded, independent mental health projects and to be connected with a network of young scholars and national experts in the field of behavioral health.
For more information, email Candace Daniels, Senior Program Manager of National Initiatives at or visit

Emblematica Online: New Portal Functionality and Undergraduate Researchers

The Scholarly Commons’ Explorations in Digital Humanities Workshop “Emblematica Online: New Portal Functionality and Undergraduate Researchers ” will be held Thursday November 20th at 4:00 in room 308 of the Main Library.

This presentation focuses on the digital resource Emblematica Online, a project funded first by the NEH and DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Initiative and now by NEH.  Emblematica Online currently makes 1,388 digital facsimiles and ~22,000 individual emblems from these rare Renaissance books at the University of Illinois Library and the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Glasgow University, Utrecht University, Getty Research Institute Library, and Duke University Library, available for searching and browsing at various levels of granularity.

The presenters will provide a brief history and description of the project, discuss their model of undergraduate research for the project and demonstrate sample searches within the OpenEmblem Portal and across international projects which employ Iconlcass metadata indexing. The presentation will last ca. 40 minutes.

The researchers for Emblematica Online are:

Mara Wade, PI;  Timothy W. Cole, Myung-Ja K. Han, and Harriett Green, co-PIs

Tom Kilton, Senior Consultant; Janina Sarol, Patricia Lampron, Librarians

Student researchers: Johannes Fröhlich (RA)

Patricia Fleming, Heidi Heim, Melina Nunez, Undergraduate Emblem Scholars

Associated online publications include:

Timothy W. Cole, Myung-Ja K. Han, Jordan Vannoy, “Descriptive Metadata, Iconclass, and Digitized Emblem Literature,”  JCDL ’12 Proceedings of the 12th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, New York: ACM, 2012, 111-120.

Digital Collections and the Management of Knowledge: Renaissance Emblem Literature as a Case Study for the Digitization of Rare Texts and Images, ed. Mara R. Wade. Salzburg: DigiCULT, 2004.

Emblem Digitization: Conducting Digital Research with Renaissance Texts and Images ed. Mara R. Wade.  2012. (= Early Modern Literary Studies, Special Issue 20)

Digitization for Research and Scholarly Communication, 4 May 2014


Spotlight on Undergraduate Authors: Mary Baker

Mary Baker is a first year graduate student studying Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois. As an undergraduate, Mary published an article in Re:Search: the Undergraduate Literary Criticism Journal at the University of Illinois. Mary recently talked to the Scholarly Commons about her experience during the research and publication process and how publishing her work has helped her after graduation.

Mary at work in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library

Mary at work in the Social Sciences, Health, and                             Education Library

What was your undergraduate area of study? What are you doing now?

I was an English major and Business minor at UIUC. I was an English Honors student which meant that I took some advanced level English classes and wrote an Honors Thesis. My experience as an honors student actually led to me library science in a roundabout way—I was writing 20 page + papers each semester and using library resources more and more and I realized that my favorite part of the writing process was researching and interacting with librarians. I am now a first-semester GSLIS (Graduate School of Library and Information Science) student! I like it a lot so far although I’m still trying my best to manage my time effectively—I think I underestimated the transition I was making from undergrad to grad school since I went here for undergrad. I am a GA at the Social, Sciences, Health and Education library—I work at the info desk and enter reference statistics online.

What was the process of researching and writing this paper like?

I have a long academic history with the article I published. My original idea was prompted by an English class called “Narratives of Passing” taught by Professor Siobhan Somerville. This course was about the history of passing in the United States (passing as in hiding or covering a racial, sexual, or gender identity to avoid discrimination) and passing narratives in books and film. I wrote a paper about passing in Mad Men for this class my junior year, but I found that I had so much more I wanted to explore by the time I was finished with it. When it came time to submit a proposal for my thesis I used my initial paper as a jumping off point but also added more questions/perspectives I wanted to explore. This was also around the time when Re:Search was starting so I submitted my thesis proposal to the journal as well.

I definitely used library resources a lot for this paper. The most important resource by far was Mad men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s a book of Mad Men criticism edited by UIUC faculty. It was really cool that I got to join in this dialog with my paper and I was lucky enough to have the editors (Lauren Goodlad and Lilya Kaganovsky) on the reading committee for my thesis. I also used online library catalog a lot to find articles and books that were cited in essays that I found especially helpful.

What kind of feedback did you receive during the peer review or editing process? Do you feel that helped your writing?

I had a really great experience writing the paper because I had a thorough peer- editing process. I met with my faculty advisor nearly once a week (my advisor was Siobhan Somerville) and she was such a helpful and supportive source for me—we made a detailed timeline and I had a new draft for her feedback once every two weeks. I also took advantage of some of the peer-editing roundtables held by Re:Search, where the authors and board members updated each other on their writing and editing processes and we were able to give each other feedback and suggestions.

Has publishing your paper helped you in your coursework? What about in other areas?

Publishing my paper definitely gave me thicker skin as a writer and made me realize how much work goes into publishing an article. Even though my paper was about 20 pages I honestly think I wrote and reworked around 50+ pages of initial material. The hardest part was letting go of the pages that didn’t work anymore because it felt like I was back at square one a lot of the times but in the long-run this editing made the final product so much more cohesive. I have a way easier time drafting because I know how much time and effort goes into a final draft—I’m more likely to take my time with an assignment or paper now then I was a few years ago.

Do you have any advice for students who may be interested in publishing their work but not know where start?

Don’t be afraid to research and write about your passions even if they don’t seem to be the most “scholarly”. I would never write an article about Chaucer or Shakespeare (no offense to those scholars) because that’s not for me but I could write dozens of pages about my favorite television shows. In undergrad I found a way to write about Homeland, The Newsroom, Mad Men, and The Daily Show and more. My professors were all very receptive to my ideas because I was passionate about them.

Read Mary’s paper “Indecent Proposals: A Historical Reading of Sexual Politics in Mad Men in the Spring 2014 issue of Re:Search.

Google Scholar: Setting Up a Citations Profile and Understanding the Impact Factor

Google Scholar allows researchers to easily search scholarly materials across a range of formats, disciplines, and sources.  A search will yield results in articles, theses, books and more from publishers, online repositories, universities, and websites. In addition to being a research tool, another valuable feature of this service is Google Scholar Citations.  This service allows authors to create a free profile to keep track of citation metrics and connect with other researchers.

How can you benefit from a Citations account? Google Scholar will track citations and automatically update profiles as references are located online. Creating a profile and making it public will provide a face to your research and an easy way to maintain an online presence for your scholarly accomplishments.

Setting Up Your Profile

1. Sign in here using an existing Google account or create a new one.

2. Confirm your name and enter your affiliation, email address, and research interests.

Note: You must enter an educational (.edu) email address in order for your profile to be eligible for inclusion in search results.

3. The next page will display articles written by you or by people with similar names to yours. Add articles that belong to you or click “search articles” to search Google Scholar content for your work.

4. You will now be asked if you would like updates applied to your profile automatically or if you would prefer to review them first.

Note: You can always make changes manually regardless of the option you choose here.

5. You will now arrive at your profile. You may make changes to your information and add a photo.

6. Check your university inbox and click the verification link.

7. When you are satisfied with your profile, make it public by selecting “make my profile public” at the top of your profile page.

Understanding the Impact Factor

The impact factor of an academic journal is a measure of the relative importance of that publication in a particular field. This measure is based on the number of citations of articles published in the journal. The impact factor is an important consideration for academics seeking tenure or for new scholars locating the highest impact publications within their field.

Google Scholar allows authors and researchers to easily gauge the influence of recent articles. You can begin by browsing the top publications in a given discipline. You can view the overall top publications written in English across the disciplines here.  Select a journal and click on the “h-index” to see what articles were cited the most and where they were cited. To learn more about impact factor, see this guide. For more on Google Scholar Metrics, visit Google Scholar.



American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellowships for Undergraduates

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) invites fellowship applications for an Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop to be held Thursday, April 16 – Saturday, April 18, 2015 during the 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago. This workshop is designed to build the talent pool of undergraduate students who plan to pursue doctorate degrees in education research or in disciplines and fields that examine education issues. Applicants are sought who have potential and interest in pursuing careers as education researchers, faculty members, or other professionals who contribute to the research field.The workshop, led by junior and senior scholars, will give fellows on overview of how education research is designed across fields, how quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in studies, and how research is applied to education policy and practice. Senior researchers and faculty from both academic institutions and applied research organization (i.e., The American Institutes for Research, Educational Testing Service, the College Board, and the Urban Institute) will introduce education research as a field and share their area of expertise and knowledge with the fellows. Workshop activities will also focus on exploring graduate education, applying to graduate school, and beginning a career in education research. Fellows will be paired with a faculty member and a graduate student who will serve as program mentors. In addition to attending the workshop, fellows will attend pre-selected paper sessions and presentations during the AERA Annual Meeting.
Dates: The Workshop activities will take place Thursday. April 16-Saturday, April 18, 2015 during the 2015 AERA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
Award: Fellows will participate in the Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop during the AERA 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago.They will also have the benefit of a distinguished mentor as part of the award. The award includes conference registration and two nights of lodging. The fellows and/or their home institutions are responsible for transportation costs to Chicago.
Eligibility: Candidates may come from a broad range of fields across the arts and sciences. Underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities and women are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be:
  • Students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year of college in good academic standing.
  • Interested in pursuing a graduate or professional degree that can lend itself to education research areas such as children and youth, school and schooling issues, higher education, education policy, student achievement, curriculum and instruction, education psychology, or education leadership.
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Visit the AERA Funding Opportunities website for the complete workshop description and application form. Direct all questions to George L. Wimberly, Director of Social Justice and Professional Development, at 202-238-3200 or


The Benefits of Publishing as an Undergraduate

Writing an article and going through the peer review and editing processes can be difficult and time-consuming. Students may wonder if the end result is worth adding the extra commitment to their schedules. However, having an article published as an undergraduate has a wide variety of benefits and can present new opportunities to students involved in the publication process. Here are a few of the reasons to consider publishing as an undergraduate:

1. To help improve writing and research skills.

The process of researching, writing, editing, and publishing an article for the first time will provide valuable feedback on what steps may require improvement and where strengths may be. Going through these steps will improve writing and research skills that will be useful in graduate studies or a professional career.

2. To experience the scholarly publication process.

Publication is a requirement in many disciplines. Going through the process as an undergraduate will make the experience familiar when it may be required later. It will also provide context and understanding of the field.

3. To connect with professors and researchers.

Faculty in the department the journal is connected to will likely be involved in the publication or post-publication process. Publishing in the journal will help connect students to those faculty members in a way that isn’t often achieved in the typical classroom setting. Publishing may also help students connect with other professionals and researchers in the field, providing new opportunities for collaboration and future study.

4. To display leadership and initiative.

Working as part of the editorial team or being involved in the publication process is hard work. Faculty, employers, and graduate school admissions committee members will understand this and recognize pursuing this endeavor as an example of leadership and drive.

5. To professionalize the undergraduate experience.

Having a published paper will provide a certain level of professionalization to a resume that many undergraduates do not have. It will signal to graduate school committees and employers that steps were taken to seriously pursue research interests. Published paper may also be useful as a writing sample in graduate school applications.

6. To inform a future career path.

The process of publishing a paper may help inform a future career path and illuminate opportunities that may otherwise have not been considered. It may pique a student’s interest in pursuing publishing or graduate studies as the next step after completion of an undergraduate degree. Alternatively, it may confirm to other students that they wish to pursue other interests outside of academia. Working with faculty and other student researchers will allow students to enter a scholarly community that may help them decide on a future career path. Either way, the process will be valuable in assisting students in deciding what the next step will be.



Library support for undergraduate research

Now that the fall semester is in full swing, there are loads of research support services for undergraduate researchers. The following is a broad list for students and faculty:

Subject specialist librarians – Each department/college has an assigned expert librarian to assist students with their research. They can help you find materials in your subject area and they can also teach you how to search more effectively in your databases. If you are a faculty member, contact your librarian for specialized information literacy services designed for your course.

Savvy Researcher workshops – We teach workshops almost every day of the semester on a variety of topics including citation management, how to do a literature review, personal information management, GIS, infographics, database design, working with images, presentation tools like Prezi and PowerPoint, advanced Google searching, and much much more!

Resource guides – Librarians create special resource guides on a variety of topics in order to highlight library resources for your research.

Data Services – Every afternoon during the fall and spring semester, there is an expert in the Scholarly Commons (306 Main Library) that is ready to assist your with anything related to data including assistance with finding and formatting digital numeric and spatial data, geographic information systems (GIS), and much more. Drop-in hours are Monday-Friday from 2-5pm. You can also make an appointment by sending an email to

Survey Research Lab – Every Thursday from 2-5pm, the Survey Research Lab is available for free consultations on all aspects of survey design (306 Main Library). They also teach a suite of free research methods workshops including “Introduction to Survey Sampling,” “Introduction to Web Surveys,” “Introduction to Questionnaire Design,” and “Introduction to Survey Data Analysis: Addressing Survey Design and Data Quality.”

Scholarly Commons – Located in 306 Main Library, the Scholarly Commons has experts that can help you with digitization, creating a digital humanities project, consulting about data management, answer basic copyright questions, help you archive your project in the institutional repository, and much more. We have computers that include specialized software including ABBYYFineReader, ArcGIS, Python, QSR Nvivo, R and R Studio, and SAS. We also have Mac computers and corresponding software. Stop by Monday-Thursday 11am-7pm and Fridays 11am-6pm or set up a personal consultation by sending an email to

Media Commons – Located in the Undergraduate Library, the Media Commons offers a wide range of technology and support centered around collaboration and digital media. Specifically, the MC offers several zones of support including audio and video production, gaming, and media editing. There is also a large pool of loanable technology that any student can borrow including video and digital cameras and equipment, gaming and mobile devices, memory and external drives, GPS, adapters, and much more. Take advantage of their training and tutorials and consulting services.

Ask-a-Librarian – Get immediate help anytime the Main Library is open by using our online chat service. Experts can help you with any part of the research process!

Merinda Hensley, Assistant Professor and Instructional Services Librarian

Facilitating Student Growth and Elevating Access: The Inaugural Edition of Peer Review

The Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) has just launched its inaugural edition of its undergraduate research journal, Peer Review: The Undergraduate Research Journal of the Ethnography of the University Initiative. As the title suggests, our journal exists specifically as a platform to highlight research conducted by undergraduate students.  Moreover, the scope of the journal is to publish research that centers on the university experience (at the University of Illinois or otherwise).


Cover art for the journal, designed by Brett Lauren Eaton

EUI promotes student research on universities and colleges as complex institutions. Based at the University of Illinois, EUI supports faculty from various disciplinary and methodological backgrounds to integrate original student research on universities and colleges into their courses through faculty development workshops, customized web environments, Institutional Review Board permissions, and bi-annual student conferences. In EUI-affiliated courses, students use a variety of ethnographic, archival, and related methods to examine the university in the broader context of our social and political times. At the end of each semester, students have the opportunity to contribute their work to the EUI collection in the U of I’s digital repository, Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS).  Now, as we launch our journal, students have a new outlet to highlight their work.

In the spirit of a journal for undergraduate students, five undergraduate editors managed the selection of articles, led the editing of those works selected, and facilitated the final production of our first edition. The most integral characteristic of our journal, in my view, is the open access platform through which we make our journal available digitally and free.  While much of academic scholarship is hidden behind the proverbial wall of institutional journal subscription fees, the very possibility to expand the audience of academic work through the Open Journals Systems (OJS) is exciting. Investing time and resources into undergraduate research is telling of the University’s commitment to its students and to fostering a new generation of future graduate students and researchers who will likely consider this early outlet for their research as a vital component of their decision to continue important work.

Our inaugural issue features two peer-reviewed articles. The first examines accessibility issues at sororities and highlights the limitations of temporary accessibility accommodations typically made during recruitment whereas the second article examines Illinois State University’s student health agenda and suggests that despite links between student health and academics, student health is taken for granted. The digital platform uniquely affords us the ability to also publish and highlight research that is presented in multi-media platforms. As such, our first multi-media project explores the experiences of LGBTQ students as they engage in different social spaces across campus.

We invite you to explore the online platform of the journal:

 T. Jameson Brewer, Senior Editor