University expands research opportunities
September 18, 2006 —
Recent projects and technological advancements at the University have made it clear that SVSU is growing up. And while most are more than aware that the University is growing physically - frequently renovating and adding to its campus - it is only when looking beneath the surface that it becomes apparent it is also growing from a research and development standpoint as well.
A number of projects both on and off campus are currently underway, examining everything from alternative fuels to producing prawn and various greens at low costs. In addition, the recent $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a new electron microscope lends further credibility to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, a college that keeps doing excellent work despite flying under the radar. Though these projects cannot mirror those at larger research institutions like the University of Michigan, it is nice to see a university once labeled as a "commuter school" doing things outside of its expected capacity. Furthermore, many of the projects are particularly unique considering the students themselves often get to play a large role in the work being done.
What is most interesting, though, is that the students of SVSU can also take part in their own research as well. Last year, the Student Research & Creativity Institute (SCRI) celebrated its inaugural year by supporting seven different projects, ranging from the development of wheelchair sensors to assisting with a history major's travel to London for research. This year, the SCRI will look to fund up to $50,000, with a maximum of $10,000 for any one student.
In spite of this gracious amount of funding, it seems the SCRI also flies under the radar. While the SCRI is reportedly expecting more applicants than it received during its first year, it goes without saying that the number will be lower than what it could be if students took the time to realize what a valuable opportunity it is. In the institution, students have the possibility of being awarded funding that will support projects that could potentially bring about the next alternative fuel or make a positive economic impact. Though these may be lofty expectations to reach, at the very least the project could help open a door to a future career or provide a bright spot on a resume.
No one can honestly expect SVSU to compete with major institutional powerhouses in regards to research and development. Still, the University should be commended for doing what it can with what it has. The students who are currently doing work through the SCRI or through other channels should be commended. For everyone else with an idea or a dream worth pursuing, it would do no harm in looking at the SCRI as a potential benefactor. That way, the students here can continue to make the University proud of a student body that is proud of its University.