Undergraduate Researchers

Jess Genevieve Bailey

History of Art

How did you first get involved in research on campus?
My first semester at Berkeley I made myself a promise: I would go to two out of my four Professor's office hours each week with substantial questions. New to Berkeley as a transfer student, I knew I had less time than others to create meaningful faculty mentoring relationships. By the end of my first semester I was offered a URAP position which launched my experience in research, including work-based travel to European archives and cultural institutions the following summer. I got involved in research at Berkeley thanks to persistence and overcoming the initial intimidation of speaking with faculty members regularly. The result, for me, has been an irreplaceable learning experience.

Did you get involved with other research projects on campus?
While at Berkeley I conducted faculty-driven research through the URAP program leading to a job post-graduation, research for another faculty member's book, received a Townsend Center grant for research based travel to the Netherlands, and concluded my undergraduate education with an independent research project, with...
Read More

Pablo Seward

Anthropology and Psychology

How did you first get involved in research on campus?
I first got involved in research as a sophomore through a URAP project for the sociology department. With the wishful thought of becoming an academic, I was anxious to get my head fully on research mode.

Did you get involved with other research projects on campus?
In the following semester, Professor Bryan-Wilson from the art history department offered me participation in a hands-on exploration of dissident art made during the Pinochet regime in Chile. As I am Chilean, the project seemed intimately interesting and important. During the semester I used my article coding skills to get up to speed with Professor Bryan-Wilson's thought on the topic. I then had a wonderful time accompanying her on a trip to Chile to conduct archival research and interviewing. I was eventually able to use the hands-on experience I gained from this second URAP experience to conduct my own thesis research. My initial experience with URAP opened the doors to the undergraduate research world for me.

Following my URAP experiences with the departments of sociology and art history, I took part in...

Read More

Helen Tran

Molecular and Cell Biology

How did you first get involved in research on campus?
I was interested in seeing how the lab techniques that we learned in our classes were done.
I think as students we can learn a lot from the lectures and textbooks, but we can't fully understand how it is done unless we do them ourselves. I really enjoyed the lab I worked in so I stayed in the same lab for 3 years.

What did you gain from the experience?
I definitely learned how a lot of laboratory techniques are done and a lot of new information specific to my project that I wasn't taught in my classes. I also learned to properly budget my time throughout a week to ensure all my bench work would be completed, present my project to a variety of audiences, and to work with different people. I also was constantly getting great feedback and help on how to improve whether it was from my mentor or GSIs from the SURF program.

Have your research experiences informed your career choices?
I learned a lot of new information from working in the lab and new molecular techniques. Being in the lab brought out my interest in seeing the information we...

Read More