SURPASs returns to Simmons

By Katie Sittig-Boyd
Staff Writer

In summer 2016, Simmons will see the return of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Simmons (SURPASs). First held two summers ago, SURPASs provides students with an opportunity to conduct research with a faculty advisor in the sciences, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts.

The program will run from May 21 through July 1, 2016, and accepted students will receive housing on the residential campus as well as a $3,000 stipend. Support for SURPASs comes from generous gifts from alums such as Trustee Regina Pisa and Trustee Pam Toulopoulos ’73, and additionally the Office of the Provost.

Past participants in SURPASs include senior Meghan Corbett, who evaluated the success of continuous advertising on Facebook using graph theory with mathematics Professor Donna Beers as her advisor.

“We got together weekly to discuss various topics including graduate school, presenting findings, and faculty member’s personal experiences,” said Corbett of her experience. “I think it was a good opportunity for students to do research in a program with classmates from different departments.”

Last summer, SURPASs was not held, much to the disappointment of students who had heard about the benefits of the program and were planning to apply.

“I was interested in pursuing summer research, because I have had limited exposure to research,” said senior Dee Moore, a sociology major. “SURPASs just wasn’t funded and there wasn’t an opportunity like it. I ended up having a very satisfying summer internship, but research would have been a good academic opportunity.”

Two SURPASs information sessions will be held before the end of the semester, where students will be able to ask questions about the program.

On Thursday, Dec. 10, an information session will be held in MCB E-207 at 11 a.m., and on Monday, Dec. 14, another session will be held at 12:30 p.m., also in MCB E-207. Students who are unable to attend these sessions are encouraged to reach out to Professor Rich Gurney at gurney@simmons.edu with questions.

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