Undergraduate Education Program

San Jose State University

Lionel Cheruzel
San Jose, CA
June 2018

This project will engage students at the beginning of their undergraduate career in authentic research experiences.  The purpose is to develop student’s research-related skills and scientific understanding as well as increase research activities in the College of Science at San Jose State University.  This program, coined the Freshman Initiative for Research to Engage Students (FIRES), capitalizes on the scientific expertise of the four principle investigators (PIs) all with strong track records and experience in undergraduate research.  The introductory general chemistry sections will encourage students to enroll in a special Introduction to Research course, which will count toward their degree.  This course is designed to prepare students for research by dividing the learning experience into smaller segments, weekly training sessions, online training modules and guidance from peer mentors.  The students will then enter rotations in interdisciplinary research streams for an intensive hands-on experience.  Each stream rotation will offer a unique experience ranging from biocatalysis, to small molecule synthesis and biophysical characterization using state-of-the-art instrumentation.  Students can continue independent research in one of the PI’s laboratories or with other research groups in the biology and chemistry departments.  Students will benefit from research and mentorship stipends as well as later stage training programs already in place at SJSU to participate in research endeavors throughout their collegiate career.  The designed combination of a course and research streams is scalable, to accommodate an increasing number of freshmen.

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