Last fall semester the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Newcomb-Tulane College (NTC) partnered to create Research Lunches, a series of informal lunch time conversations between faculty and undergraduates. Each Research Lunch has the goals of bringing students and faculty together beyond the classroom, introducing students to different experiences and processes, and creating an interdisciplinary intellectual community on campus.
The final Research Lunch of the spring semester featured Julie Albert, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, who focused on the common struggles of professors and students relating to “failing”, meeting deadlines, networking, and more.
The Research Lunch was titled, “Professors are People, Too.”
“It can be tough when you have some of your own doubts about your abilities,” said Albert. “You can feel down about yourself, or you can pick yourself up and say, 'I'm going to figure it out. I'll do better next time.'”
The greatest benefit of Research Lunches is to “draw back the curtain” and show students that research, even by professors, is not a clear-cut, linear process. There are set backs, failures, dead ends, and revisions, but there is also discovery, publishing, learning, and brainstorming. And, all of it is important to the research process.
Since the launch of the Research Lunch program in the fall of 2017, seven professors have spoken on a variety of topics:
Researching Difficult Subjects: Karissa Haugeberg, assistant professor, School of Liberal Arts, Department of History
Resilience & Vulnerability in African American Adolescents: Michael Cunningham, professor, School of Science and Engineering, Department of Psychology
What Successful Research Really Looks Like: Patrick Button, School of Liberal Arts, Department of Economics
Statistics in Action: When Numbers Don't Tell the Whole Story: Michelle Lacey, associate professor, School of Science and Engineering, Department of Mathematics
The Creative Process: Interdisciplinary Projects & Collaboration: Rick Snow, professor of practice, School of Liberal Arts, Newcomb Department of Music
Professors are People, Too: Julie Albert, assistant professor, School of Science and Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Encountering the Unexpected: LaPorchia Collins, professor of practice, School of Liberal Arts, Department of Economics
The Research Lunches are about “breaking down those barriers, to have professors be more approachable,” said Emily Gatehouse, CELT senior program coordinator. “It’s understanding that all of the issues and challenges that students are dealing with, professors are also dealing with. And it’s also seeing that there’s a serious community on campus of students who are interested in research.”
For information about the Research Lunch series, or research engagement at Tulane contact Emily Gatehouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-862-3295.