Arkansas Summer Research Institute

Teresa Valdivia, Contributing Reporter

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     The Arkansas Summer Research Institute offers an opportunity for students to prepare themselves for undergraduate and graduate research. 

“The main purpose of the ASRI is to provide individualized training in research and professional skills to Arkansas STEM undergraduates, particularly those from underrepresented minorities,” said Dr. Whitney Holden, a Life Science Specialist at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA), who, together with Dr. Patrycja Krakowiak from the same institution, is the co-director of the institute.

The institute is an intensive, 5-day experience where students learn research skills and lab techniques, science communication, research ethics, 3D printing, and more. Participants also get to meet students, professors, medical and graduate school admission personnel, and professionals from all over the state. 

Despite the program being in its fourth year, Henderson students have rarely applied for this opportunity. Because this program is funded by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, nearly all students are able to apply and obtain a scholarship that covers all of the cost, including a transportation reimbursement.

“Students from Henderson should apply for this opportunity because there is no downside. We want to help you be the very best you can be!” said Dr. Holden.  

Jennifer Fowler, Director of Education, Outreach, & Diversity for Arkansas, NSF, EPSCoR, has been reaching out to campuses all over the state growing the population that participates from just a handful to over 40 students this past summer.

The directors strive to put together a diverse schedule each year that serves different student needs and always offers something new and exciting. University professors from all over the state come to ASMSA in Hot Springs, where the institute takes place, and are involved in various sessions that are divided between life and physical sciences, including computer science and engineering.