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Student Research Opportunities

Students

In conducting undergraduate research, students gain a new academic experience and develop a wide range of useful research skills in critical thinking, qualitative and quantitative analysis, field work, survey methodologies, and more. In addition, student researchers develop close mentoring relationships with faculty members through fun, rewarding and productive research. The Valente Center’s arts and sciences–focused undergraduate Research Programs are also particularly useful for students developing the skills to eventually complete an Honors Capstone or an LSM-culminating experience, as well as for motivated students looking to delve deeper in a subject of interest or in a faculty member’s disciplinary research. Furthermore, undergraduate research is valuable experience that both employers and graduate schools value.

Student Research Programs

Undergraduate Researcher Program

Undergraduates pursue independent Arts & Sciences focused research projects. 

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Student Research Assistantships (SRA)

This program provides an opportunities for undergraduates to work with faculty members in an area of special interest.

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Roundtable Discussion

The Roundtable Seminar on Great Books discusses books of importance and value that enrich students understanding of arts, history, literature, business, politics and life in general. A course for credit!

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Undergraduate Travel Fund

This program is designed to allow students to explore research opportunities 

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Valente Center Researchers 2019-2020
"James"

James Lunetta

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the great work that is currently being done at all levels or organization-- from grassroots campaigns to world leaders, in the fight for equality, sustainability, and justice in society.

Whom do you admire and who inspires you? 

I admire and am inspired by both of my parents who have worked hard all their lives to help provide for my family, and instilled a strong sense of work ethic and morality that I have carried with me through my professional and personal life. 

Top 3 things you can’t live without?

CoffeeBooksTravel

What would you recommend to young researchers?

My recommendation would be to read as much as you can on any topic you are interested in, and seek out opportunities to make that interest into a passion.

What is the research/career highlight you are most proud?

I am most proud of an opportunity in which I delivered a mini-lecture on U.S. housing policy and evictions to an introductory sociology class here at Bentley a few years ago.

Gianni Polhemus

What inspires you?

Simple things like a good meal or going for a hike.

Whom do you admire and who inspires you?

My parents for supporting me to acquire an excellent education and pursue my career. As well, Gordon Ramsey’s detail, work ethic, and ability to monetize his personality is inspiring.

Top 3 things you can’t live without?

My motorcycle, WaterA winter coat

What is the research/career highlight you are most proud?

Being selected to work with the Valente Center and Professor Steinfield PhD on a work of novel academic merit. Before this point in time I had enjoyed imbibing research material and dreamed maybe one day I would create something of that stature. Well, for my senior year of college I’m finding out what it’s like to research and work with some of the best professionals in the field.

What would you recommend to young researchers?

Have an excellent advisor, a partner to work with, and an external hard-drive to save yourself a month of headaches (trust me).

"Gianni"
"Sameera"

Sameera Shah

Whom do you admire and who inspires you?

I admire my mom because she’s taught me to accept every failure as a challenge rather than defeat. Life is full of tests, but it is ultimately up to us to choose how we face them. 

Top 3 things you can’t live without?

Family, music, and pineapple on pizza!

What would you recommend to young researchers?

I would encourage young researchers to choose a topic they are passionate about. When researching something in your field of interest, you become an expert in that topic and can creatively present the information to others. It is also key to learn to trust the process of research; it can be tedious, but it is ultimately rewarding. Finally, it is important to utilize all available resources such as librarians and professors who can add greater insight to your research.

What is your favorite quote?

“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” -William Allen White

Juliette Smieszek

Whom do you admire and who inspires you?

I am inspired by my father, the first researcher I met. Our disciplines may be completely different, but he has always encouraged me to follow my curiosity and pursue research.

Top 3 things you can’t live without?

Sleep, Wi-Fi, and tea.

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you doing right now?

My 10-year-old self would probably be pretty impressed that I would willingly do extra homework (essentially) simply because I am interested in expanding my knowledge in research and my subject of choice. I don’t think she would be that interested, though.

What would you recommend to young researchers?

Sometimes your curiosity will lead you down a path that seems quite daunting, where you have many questions and many variables to consider in answering them. It’s always important to trust yourself and your capabilities, but always be open to seeking help from other people and resources. Be realistic and don’t turn your life into a balancing act.

What is your favorite quote?

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde

"Juliette"
"Xiao"

Xiao Tan

Whom do you admire?

Quentin Tarantino, Xavi Hernandez

Top 3 things you can’t live without?

Soccer, movie, friends

What is the research/career highlight you are most proud of?

Video editing intern at Insta360

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you doing right now?

Cool!

What would you recommend to young researchers?

Explore what you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to investigate into the problems that might be controversial. Ask a lot of questions.

Describe a time in your life that you gained a new perspective?

Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”

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