As the summer comes to a close, I find it difficult to fully reflect upon my time in the DSSRF17 program. Each week, I’ve reflected on particular hardships and decisions made. For the final week, I’d like to promote the program that has consumed my tim over the last 8 weeks.
First, the program is an excellent opportunity to expose oneself to undergraduate research. In particular, the program allows students to investigate questions that on which faculty may not be focused. For example, my research was in hockey analytics, and my peers investigated topics in art history, Chinese economics, and LGBTQ+ representation in film. Individuals, with the help of our facilitators, were able to tackle research questions in all of these areas, no matter how unique the area of research may have been.
Another great aspect of the DSSRF program is the availability of professional help. Although individuals conduct the research, Bucknell faculty made themselves available, along with Bertrand Library and IT staff. The program facilitators dedicated their busy summers to providing any and all support we needed. From putting us in touch with industry professionals to giving tutorials in a variety of digital tools, Carrie and Courtney went out of their ways to provide us with the help necessary to conduct well document research. Research professionals and mathematics professors also contributed to the summer research, and I found everyone involved to be very willing to help. This program put me in touch with individuals who I plan to stay in touch with long beyond the DSSRF17 program.
Lastly, spending a summer in Lewisburg is great. The campus is quiet, and great camaraderie results. The same amenities available during the school year are available to students throughout the summer, and the weather is fantastic. A summer on campus is a great chance to explore the local area. I’ve floated down the Susquehanna River, sightseen both Harrisburg and Scranton, experienced minor league baseball games, played recreational sports, and tried many local restaurants. The weekends are free, so I had plenty of time to adventure through Central Pennsylvania.
I am envious of my peers, all three of whom are younger than I. Every other member of the DSSRF17 program have at least one chance to spend another summer conducting research in Lewisburg. And though they might not be involved in the same program in the future, the DSSRF program has allowed us all a chance to see how great the experience can be. I encourage anyone interested in research to apply, even if you have not identified a research question. The program facilitators will help you along the way, from identifying this question, to presenting findings to a plethora of Bucknellians eight weeks later. I am so thankful to have found this program before my time at Bucknell has ended, and I hope future Bucknellians have an opportunity to do the same.