A Long View of Undergraduate Research

Alumni Perspectives on Inquiry, Belonging, and Vocation

Kristine Johnson and J. Michael Rifenburg

A Long View of Undergraduate Research provides an unprecedented look inside the lived experience of undergraduate research. College alumni from across the disciplines offer a long view of their undergraduate research experiences, describing how they engaged in authentic intellectual inquiry, developed a sense of belonging in college, and ultimately brought the skills and passions fostered through undergraduate research into graduate school and the workplace. The book shares stories from research labs and fieldwork sites, libraries and scholarly conferences, cubicles and coffee shops, graduate programs and boardrooms, revealing how undergraduate research experiences are a powerful vehicle through which colleges and universities advance their goals for academic, personal, and vocational development. These alumni stories further reveal how undergraduate research shapes whole persons by introducing students to compelling questions and topics, connecting them with mentors and communities, and shaping their definitions of purpose, meaning, and work itself. The book provides faculty, research mentors, and administrators with fresh evidence for the value of undergraduate research and with guidance for creating and sustaining effective, equitable undergraduate research experiences.