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Student Research Opportunities


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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Presentation Training for the Undergraduate Research Workshop

Presentation Training for the Undergraduate Research Workshop
April 2021

Undergraduate Research Workshop 2020-2021

UG Research Workshop Recording

October 9th, 2020



Questions on the workshop?

Valente Center Undergraduate Researchers 2021-2022


Devin Ergul

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the struggle of those who aren't given the opportunities I and other Americans are afforded. Across the world, there are intelligent and hardworking people who are unable to find success solely due to the circumstances they were born in. I am someone who had the privilege to grow up in America, where all the necessary tools for success are at our disposal. People such as I have a duty to make the best use of these opportunities we are afforded.

Top 3 things you can't live without?

My camera roll, music, my family (especially my cats!)

What would you recommend to young researchers out there?

Never take anything for its face value. Keep asking questions and you will find the answers you are looking for. 

What is your favorite quote?

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing 
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there."
Jelaleddin Rumi 

Lucy Lu

What inspires you?

With the current commercialization of the Internet, such as TikTok and eBay, and the increasing globalization of international shipping, I find that the e-commerce industry is gradually becoming a mainstream development business for many small and medium-sized enterprises. Especially after the COVID pandemic, many customers' purchase behavior has been affected, and they use e-commerce more frequently. This made me curious not only about the impact of the shift in customer purchase behavior on the market but also about the future prospects of e-commerce. Therefore, I hope that through this research I can study the secrets of the rise of the e-commerce industry and whether e-commerce can replace the real sector in the future.

Top 3 things you can't live without?  

My headphones, my deadline notebook, and black tea

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

I don't think the ten-year-old me would have liked the field I'm in and the subject I'm exploring very much, because since I was a kid, the industry I always wanted to be in was violin and music, and I always wanted to be a musician. However, I think the ten-year-old me would be proud of what I have accomplished and will also marvel at the changes in me since she would never expect at that time that in the future, she will sprout great interest in economics and will not hesitate to explore the field she's interested in.

What would you recommend to young researchers out there?  

Don't hesitate to ask a lot of questions. Always be curious about what you've learned, what you've seen, and what's happening around you, and keep an inquisitive mood about everything so that you can ask questions, get answers, and make progress in your curiosity. Sometimes, the beginnings of many legends and successes can come from a simple and random question.

What is your favorite quote?

"One of the most difficult things to do is to realize that they are not the center of life, but only on the edge." William Somerset Maugham


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Andhika Sitepu

What inspires you?

Life seems nice when we're in our little bubble, financially supported by our parents, and not having to worry about the bills for the upcoming month. But then we go to college, have to live and pay for groceries on our own, get a job and handle our salary, and in a short time, make retirement plans. Then comes the realization of the importance of managing our finances.

It's fortunate that we learned the Pythagoras theorem in high school; our life is safe and securenow. Schools teach Algebra, Science, and Social Studies, which are unquestionably valuable. But how often do you need to calculate the area of a cuboid on a daily basis?

I have witnessed how financial illiteracy has impacted my family and surrounding communities. Since then, I have been on a mission to democratize personal finance education for the youth, as the notion of money touches every aspect of our lives.

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

In 2021, I founded Finance For Teen, a youth-led organization in the pursuit of creating
financially savvy Gen Z's. Since then, the non-profit has involved more than 100 volunteers, working with financial companies, community organizations, and educational institutions to help thousands of youth learn fundamental personal finance skills.

I am also working at a social startup with the vision of making the world a better place. As GenZ, the socially conscious generation, I resonate with Bentley University's values of "Doing Good is Good Business," as I wish to make an impact on all the work I do.

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

Imagine seeing your peers the same age as you doing great things with their life. Seeing headlines like Youngest Millionaire to Billions Dollar Startup Valuation or simply someone landing an internship at a great company, the list goes on.

*Meanwhile, we're here scrolling over social media in our bed all day.

We feel behind, the urgency to achieve something extraordinary, and even question ourself-worth. As I paused for a while and reflected, I discovered that everyone has and lives on their definition of success. A portion of my friends are pursuing their studies; others are taking a gap year to start their businesses, and some want to take it laid back and chill. There are no right and wrong answers, as success is not one-size-fits-all but tailor-made for each person. We live our own lives and can be successful on our terms.

Top 3 things you can't live without?

Caffeine, Digital Calendar and Internet

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Xime Vallarino

What inspired you?

My family is my main pillar. They are the reason behind why I wake up from bed everyday. They have provided me with so many privileges throughout my life, that my sole purpose has become to give them back what they once gave me. For me, family is everything. As years have passed, I've been a spectator of my parents' progress and success, that all I want in life is to someday be like them.

Top 3 things you can't live without?

Definitely my phone, my family and my water bottle that I take everywhere with me.

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

My work in the research field just began not so long ago, but one of my main highlights (if not the most important one) was definitely getting into the research program, because it showed me what I'm capable of.

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you are doing right now?
I think that she would be very happy and impressed to see how far I've gotten as a person. When I was 10, all I could dream about was becoming a superstar someday. Today, even though I'm very far away from becoming a superstar, I'm on the path that will take me to achieve my dream career, which is pursuing something inside the fashion industry. I think she would just feel proud because I'm so close to achieving
my dream.

Describe a time in your life that you gained a new perspective?
I've always been a "planner", since I enjoy planning all the upcoming events of my life in advance. Yet, when the pandemic hit the world in 2020, I had to change this mindset of mine. I learned that you can't plan your life, because God already has a prepared plan for you.

What is your favorite quote?
"Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to help you grow."


Rachel Zumberg

Whom do you admire and who inspires you?

My parents are my greatest inspirations. Seeing how hard they work and what great things they have accomplished always pushes me to work harder. I am inspired to work and study by our world's desperate need for global access to adequate healthcare. For many, any ailment, injury, or sickness could be a death sentence, solely because of the region in which they were born. The reduction of health inequality and the pursuit of global improvement in public health has inspired me to pursue epidemiology. One of my role models in this field is Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, who is responsible for containing an Ebola breakout in Lago, Nigeria in 2014.

Top 3 things you can't live without?

I can't live without: Spotify, my laptop, and my friends/family. 

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

I am most proud of my two research assistantships on campus. I had the opportunity to work on two very different research projects with amazing faculty. One project included studying people's risk perceptions of COVID 19 over the course of the pandemic, which involved mostly the collection and processing of large data sets. The other project included more fieldwork and involved the trapping of mosquitos over the summer to develop non-invasive methods of identifying the fertility of Coquillettidia perturbans mosquitos, which may help monitor EEE cases in Massachusetts. 

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

I think my 10-year-old self would be very confused about what I'm doing now. Though, I know that would be very excited that I get to live and study in a place that snows!

What would you recommend to young researchers out there?

I would suggest that you don't get caught up with the perfect project, job, or internship when you're first starting out. Any experience is a good experience and will ultimately help you get to wherever you're meant to go.

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

On a trip to Taiwan, I experienced, firsthand, the frustration of being in a place where my language and culture were not predominant. It allowed me to gain a deeper appreciation for those who leave their homes, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and adapt to new ways of life. 

What is your favorite quote?

"If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy"
-Amanda Gorman

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