Associate professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Director of CSURP
The idea to begin the Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CSURP) began with conversation about how little undergraduates knew about communicating chemistry research among themselves and to others. The program began as a series of presentations and get-togethers to facilitate collegial communication.
"We mimicked what graduate programs do, except we were doing it for undergraduates," Purser said. "So when these students went on to graduate programs, they already understood how to communicate their research."
The program worked so well Purser was determined to expand and deepen the experience, which began the CSURP. Today, the program is a 10-week research experience that teaches students how to conduct research simply by letting them do research. Once the research is complete, the students give a presentation to their student colleagues and the department faculty.
"Most students end up doing their presentation at a regional or national professional conference," Purser said. "Not many undergraduate students are presenting solid research at these meetings. It certainly makes TU stand out."
Out of the 113 students involved in CSURP to date, eleven have become Goldwater Scholars; seven received National Science Foundation fellowships; four have earned Udall Scholarships and two have become Truman Scholars.