MU4Gold: Mentoring Exceptionally Able Students and Promoting a Culture of Research on Campus
The competitive MU4Gold Scholars Program offers intellectually curious, highly motivated students the chance to engage in the process of research and discovery with Marquette faculty as soon as they arrive on campus. Undergraduate research is a powerful learning experience for students in all fields, whether they are headed to graduate or professional school or directly to the workplace after graduation, and MU4Gold gives exceptionally able students a head start. Embedded in the University Honors Program, MU4Gold introduces students to Marquette’s vibrant research community, mentors them in the practices of independent research, and helps them secure faculty mentors for funded research starting in their first year. The program also builds student cohorts across disciplines in the liberal arts and fosters multi-faceted, interdisciplinary perspectives on contemporary problems and challenges.
Eric: Writing as a Way to Know
Eric is an A&S student majoring in Cognitive Science. He has worked with a number of faculty mentors at Marquette, including Michael Cover and Julian Hills in Theology and Stephen Beall in Classics. As a first-year student Eric investigated the relationship between Greek dramas such as Euripides’ Bacchae and the Gospels. This summer he's been awarded an Honors Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to explore Xenophon's conception of an ideal ruler. Of doing research as a first-year and sophomore student at Marquette, Eric says, "Research has broadened my understanding of how exactly we as scholars in the world come to know things and how important individual initiative and discipline are to the research process. The impact of a single person, with a goal and a plan, is much larger than one would expect, and research as an undergraduate has made me come to realize that while credentials are essential to get people to listen, they are not necessary to speak and participate. Essentially, the biggest lesson I learned doing research is that knowledge in the world is the function of effort and something I can directly contribute to."
Gabby: Maintaining Biological Diversity
Gabby, an A&S sophomore in Biological Sciences, is a member of Biology Professor Tony Gamble's "Gecko Lab," studying the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain biological diversity. Gabby says, "MU4Gold has made me think beyond the classroom and learn how real world science works."
Marcella on Finding Real People Inside the 1790 Census
A&S History major Marcella is drawn to the way historical research makes individual people from the past visible and even vivid. With faculty mentor Kristen Foster from History, Marcella is reviewing 1790 Pennsylvania census data to better understand property relations for African-Americans in the early United States. This summer she has an Honors Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to extend the project to the 1840 Census.
Kate on Police Brutality and Intergroup Interactions
Kate is an Arts & Sciences sophomore with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. With faculty mentor Nakia Gordon from the Psychology Department, Kate has examined the effect of police brutality on race relations. This summer she has an Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Dr. Gordon's lab to research whether viewing positive interactions between a member of an ingroup and a member of an outgroup lead to greater willingness to interact with a member of an outgroup. Kate says that performing research "has given me not only an indication of what I'd like to pursue career-wise, but also information about myself both in an educational and a personal setting. I've discovered what interests me and how I learn best through research, and I can feel the intellectual growth I've made because of it. My experience with MU4Gold and research has certainly influenced the path I now plan to take."
Chris: the Nigerian-American Experience
Chris, a sophomore in Arts & Sciences majoring in both History and Political Science, is currently working with Jim Marten in the History Department. Last year he investigated cultural perceptions of Nigerian-Americans, and this year he is studying changes in attitudes toward the Lincoln Memorial over time. “I have been able to dive into my love of history, both in my project and in conversation in ways I never had. Now, I can actually foresee myself pursuing a career in history, not just studying it.”
Nikki: the Ethical Implications of
Using Nazi Data
Nikki is an A&S sophomore in Psychology who was mentored in her first year by Brittany Pladek and in her second by Liz Angeli, both in English. With Dr. Pladek she considered the ethical implications of using Nazi experimental data in science and medicine today, and with Dr. Angeli she is researching communication among Emergency Medical Technicians during the complex processes of first response and triage. Nikki describes MU4Gold as a bridge: “The program is an absolutely wonderful gateway to the world of research. I particularly valued how many possibilities there were, so many enthusiastic faculty members, a wide range of research disciplines, and the ability to discover what I am truly passionate about as I move forward in my undergraduate education here at Marquette.”
MU4Gold Contact Information
For further information about the MU4Gold Scholars Program, please email MU4Gold or the Director of the University Honors Program,
Dr. Amelia Zurcher (414-288-3475).