1st Edition

A Long View of Undergraduate Research Alumni Perspectives on Inquiry, Belonging, and Vocation

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    Drawing from in-depth interviews with alumni across the disciplines, this book explores the benefits of undergraduate research: meaningful intellectual engagement, a sense of belonging in the campus community, and vocational clarity and career success after college.

    What matters to alumni about their research experience is often not what is represented in scholarship. The compelling stories featured in this text describe intellectual and emotional uncertainty and excitement; deeply personal mentoring relationships; and the powerful ways in which undergraduate research shapes and directs career paths. The book brings a novel perspective that begins during the research experience and extends into the years after college, offering practical insight into program design, mentoring, and research-to-career practices that are flexible enough to be implemented in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.

    This book speaks to faculty, staff, and administrators at a wide range of institutions, regardless of experience or comfort level with undergraduate research. Supplemental resources – including discussion questions for each chapter, short videos of dialogue between undergraduate researchers and their mentors, and more – are available at https://www.centerforengagedlearning.org/books/a-long-view.

    1. What Alumni Can Teach Us  2. Undergraduate Research as Inquiry  3. Undergraduate Research as Belonging  4. Undergraduate Research as Vocation  5. What Alumni Taught Us  Coda: Undergraduate Research Twenty Years Later


    Kristine Johnson is Associate Professor of English and University Rhetoric Director at Calvin University, USA, where she teaches writing, writing pedagogy, and linguistics.

    J. Michael Rifenburg is Professor of English at the University of North Georgia, USA, where he serves as Senior Faculty Fellow for scholarly writing with UNG’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership.

    This book, with its qualitative focus, provides an excellent addition to the research literature on the value of undergraduate research.  As a college administrator and faculty member at a church-affiliated institution, I was especially drawn to the undergraduate research as vocation chapter. Career preparation remains an important outcome of undergraduate research, but I was excited to read examples in this chapter of how undergraduate research also developed student’s passions, interests, and callings. This book is an enjoyable read and valuable for anyone wanting to enhance mentoring and undergraduate research programs.  

    Susan Larson, Provost and Dean of the College; Professor of Psychology, Concordia College, USA


    By focusing on the lived experiences of recent alumni of undergraduate research, this book provides a refreshing new perspective on the impact of undergraduate research, emphasising a long view of research as partnership. By concentrating on graduates from the humanities and social sciences, the stories about the process of inquiry, undergraduate research as belonging, and undergraduate research as vocation complement previous work. This is a well-written book, full of insights, that I strongly recommend.

    Mick Healey, Healey HE Consultants, UK