SURE Fellows Demonstrate Kent State's R1 Status in Action

Students majoring in aerospace engineering, theater, physics, music and nursing were among the 90 presenters at the annual Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Student Fellow Presentations held this week in the Kent Student Center.  

The presenters represented 122 students who participated in the SURE program during summer 2022, an increase of 50 students from the previous year, according Ann Gosky, director of the Office of Student Research at Kent State. SURE is sponsored by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs and the office of President Todd Diacon, as well as several individuals, departments, colleges, institutes and others. 

The competition yielded 13 first-place winners out of the 90 students who made their initial three-minute presentations, using a poster of their research projects. After the winners were announced at a ceremony in the Kiva auditorium, five of the first-place winners were chosen to give their presentations once again. 

Xavier Heipp, senior theater major, gave his Sure presentation Conjuring Up Shakespeare's Kings, Witches and Fools.

“I hope people got a little glimpse of the breadth of research that really is amazing at Kent State,” said Douglas L. Delahanty, Ph.D., interim vice president for research and sponsored programs. “Students do a fantastic job on the three-minute presentations. It’s really fascinating to see all the kinds of research that is going on at Kent on a daily basis.” 

The first place winners are:

  • Lilly Chevalier, senior, anthropology
  • Melina Connell, junior, nursing
  • Haley Dees, sophomore, aerospace engineering
  • Kristen DiCresce, senior, public health
  • Annika Dudik, senior, geology
  • Nicole Griffin, senior, chemistry/biochemistry pre-medicine
  • Xavier Heipp, senior, theatre (performance concentration)
  • Austin Mahajan, senior, biology
  • Thai Nguyen, junior, biology
  • Sabaha Pasha, senior, physics
  • Alice Tun, freshman, biology
  • Grace Watson, junior, environmental & conservation biology
  • Bailey Wimer, junior, computer science

The SURE program gives promising undergraduate researchers an eight-week period during the summer to engage in faculty-supervised research. SURE provides the students with stipends for either full- or part-time work and on-campus housing if needed. The undergraduate researchers have the opportunity to “work directly with a faculty mentor, gain valuable experience to clarify career and educational goals, enhance research skills and gain academic insight.”

Sure Fellow Haley Dees, senior aerospace engineering major, was one of the first-place winners.

Earlier this year, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education awarded Kent State the esteemed R1 status for research, which is the highest recognition that doctoral universities can receive. The prestigious designation affirms Kent State’s place as an elite research institution and puts the university in the company of universities such as Yale, Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley. 

Kent State is one of five universities in Ohio to be designated R1, joining Ohio State, the University of Cincinnati, Case Western Reserve University and Ohio University. Institutions with the R1 designation are considered to have “very high research activity.” Only 146 universities in the nation have R1 status. Kent State, Ohio University and the University at Buffalo are the only Mid-American Conference schools to carry this coveted and esteemed designation. 

First-place Sure Fellow Nicole Griffin is a senior chemistry(biochemistry pre-medicine) major..

The university’s R1 designation is something that will be recognized by those outside of the university once the undergraduate researchers graduate. “It’s something that we are extremely proud of,” Delahanty said.  

For more information about the SURE program, go to….


POSTED: Thursday, October 20, 2022 02:39 PM
UPDATED: Saturday, May 18, 2024 06:30 PM
April McClellan-Copeland