Mount Saint Mary College - SURE Program

Mount Saint Mary College SURE Program
© Mount Saint Mary College
Mount Saint Mary College (Newburgh, NY) may be a small liberal arts school, but we like to think big when it comes to research.  Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, which recently finished up its 10th summer, gives students the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty for 5-week or 10-week sessions, by developing their own research project or working with faculty members to develop their own role in an existing project, providing students an authentic research experience.  Each summer culminates with student talks, followed by a student poster session and an invited keynote talk, open to the entire Mount Saint Mary College and local community.
At the Mount, we take pride in the diversity of SURE projects that our students have carried out over the years.  Whether it be developing an edible vaccine for opportunistic diseases, studying the effects of tax policy changes, investigating the importance of outdoor education or developing a sensory garden for a local middle school, our students are always addressing interesting and important questions while refining their problem solving and critical thinking skills.  But it’s not all work!  As part of the SURE program, students and faculty have gone apple picking, attended minor league baseball games, and hiked our local trails, just to name a few activities.  Students and faculty also volunteer in the area, for example at the local food bank, as we value the interaction we have with the community.
Our students’ experiences don’t end at the Mount.  Many of our students have presented their research at regional and national meetings, including recently at the St. Jude’s National Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Council on Undergraduate Research National Conference.  “Without the SURE program at Mount Saint Mary College I don't believe I would have thought about pursuing a PhD. Through the SURE program I was able to form my own research project with the help of my mentor, and was given the opportunity to present at numerous collegiate conferences”, says Hannah Mulhall, SURE alum and Ph.D. candidate in Immunology.
These experiences from the SURE program provide benefits to students beyond graduation.  According to Jackie Copeland, a SURE alum and Ph.D. candidate in Molecular Biology at Cornell University, “Through my time in the SURE program I developed a passion for scientific research and decided to pursue graduate school in Molecular Biology.”  These experiences are also valued by students who pursue careers outside of basic research.  Joe Henain, SURE alum and recent graduate of University of Albany Medical School, says “I now practice medicine with a systematic and logical approach that was instilled in me during my time conducting summer research”.  SURE alum and pre-K teacher Nicole Zazzero states “I was thrilled to work closely with professors I admire on projects that interested me. I have utilized what I learned during the SURE program in job interviews, conferences, and most importantly in my own classroom.”  We are proud of all of our students who have taken advantage of these research experiences and look forward to all of the great things to come.

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