Honoring Bridget Lawson

Bridget Lawson portraitThe SOURCE, CSTEP, the School of Education, and Syracuse community have unexpectedly lost a wonderful person. Bridget Lawson touched the lives of so many through her deep commitments to education, social justice, and mentorship.

Bridget most recently worked with the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) team and had just begin a position as the Assistant Director of the Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Engagement (SOURCE). A graduate student in the School of Education, she was working towards a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education.

We extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Bridget’s family, friends and all her loved ones during this difficult time.

In this time of sadness, we want to remind students, faculty and staff that services and support are available even while we are not all on campus. Students seeking counseling services may contact the Barnes Center at The Arch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 315.443.8000, and pressing #1. Additional services are provided by the Dean of Students Office, Monday through Friday, by calling 315.443.4357. For faculty and staff, assistance is available through Carebridge, the University’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Trained clinicians are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 800.437.0911.

For additional support and services, the campus community may contact Hendricks Chapel at 315.443.2901.

Undergraduate Research FAQs

Undergraduate research work takes many forms but is characterized by a spirit of inquiry, participation in the active conversation of a scholarly, professional or creative field of study, and guidance by a faculty mentor. Student research and creative projects may be produced by students at all levels in classes, labs, recitals, as part of a distinction or thesis program, or independently.  Participating in undergraduate research helps you apply what you are learning in class, find a mentor, improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and pursue a topic that fascinates you.

SOURCE offers regular information sessions to help you get started thinking about your participation in research activities and to connect you with the appropriate resources.  Talk to your professors about their research, connect with your department leadership, and talk to fellow students. SOURCE Student Research Mentors also hold weekly office hours to assist students. Start reading the literature in your field of study and look at the faculty research interests on your department web page.

All student research projects must be guided by a professor. Some students assist faculty with their larger research projects and others propose their own independent project with guidance from the faculty mentor. Before you approach a prospective faculty mentor, be sure that you have examined their research interests on the department web page, and even read some of their recent publications.  Request a meeting with a professional email and come prepared to discuss your own interests, skills, availability and future goals. It will likely take some persistence to find a mentor; SOURCE is here to help support you through the process.

SOURCE offers Summer Grants of up to $2,800 and Academic Year grants of up to $5,000 for research expenses including supplies, materials, travel, payroll, or participant compensation. Summer funding may be used for living expenses. These grant applications are available each October and February. Expansion Grants of up to $1,000 are available on an ongoing basis. Application requires a description of your project (including budget and timeline), letter from your faculty mentor, resume and transcript. There are other programs and opportunities to support undergraduate research and creative work on campus, including the Honors Program, the McNair Scholars Program, LSAMP and many others.

Syracuse University offers many opportunities to present student research at departmental poster sessions, thesis review presentations, Honors, McNair, or LSAMP presentation days, and SOURCE celebrations of research. You may also want to pursue presenting off-campus at a national conference, where you can receive invaluable feedback from experts in your field and participate in the larger scholarly or creative conversation. Some students might author or co-author publications with their faculty mentor in peer-reviewed journals or journals of undergraduate research.