Spotlight on Faculty


Dr. Mirela David

Meet the faculty members and supervisors across disciplines who make research possible for undergraduate students. Get their persepective on why undergraduate research matters to them and what they're doing to promote it.

Mirela David has offered First-Year Research Experiences (FYRE) since her first year of teaching at the UofS. She teaches FYRE classes in both Women’s and Gender Studies and History. From the benefits of working with research coaches to opportunities to enrich her own research, David’s experience with FYRE means it would be senseless to teach a first-year course any other way. Read more.

Are you a faculty member who integrates undergraduate research? Email undergraduate.research@usask.ca to showcase your contribution.

Past Stories

Dr. Tracie Risling: Since 2014, Dr. Tracie Risling’s lab has become a permanent home for undergraduate students. Every summer, Risling, faculty member in the Department of Nursing, has watched as the RisTech Lab grew from having one student, to two then three students. This summer, she will be working with a record number of six undergraduates, some new and some returning. RisTech focuses on health informatics when it meets patient empowerment and advocacy, and has become so popular among undergraduates that a waiting list has developed. Read more.

Dr. Janet Hill: Dr. Hill, a faculty member in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, makes a point to welcome two undergraduate students every summer, often through the Undergraduate Student Research Assistantship (USRA) programs. Regardless of their academic background, Hill finds that any student who is "willilng to learn, work hard, and be enthusiastic" could be a good fit, not just for her lab, but for any undergraduate research experience. Read more

Dr. Colin Laroque: Dr. Laroque, a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, was a leader of undergraduate research before it was even a thing. Now offering First-Year Research Experiences for the fifth time, and many more higher-level research classes besides, Laroque’s participation in student-led research is simply second nature by now. Read more.

Dr. Keith Carlson: How many of us have heard that research in the Humanities has no "real-world" value? An emerging initiative on campus has proven that narrative wrong. Four years ago, Dr. Keith Carlson and the College of Arts & Science began the Community-Engaged Collaboratorium, which partners with communities and organizations to identify research projects that undergraduate students work on throughout the summer. In the process, they experience not just any research, but community-engaged research that impacts friends, family, and neighbours. Read more

Dr. Chris Todd: Dr. Todd is one of many faculty members on campus who has seen the value of undergraduate research first-hand. From incorporating research into his classes to serving as faculty advisor with the U of S Undergraduate Research Journal (USURJ), Todd has worked with student researchers in a number of capacities, all of which highlighted for him the opportunities U of S faculty have to engage with students in a way that, not only feeds back into the classroom, but is fulfilling in and of itself. Read more

Drs. Alison Oates & Joel Lanovaz: Over the years, College of Kinesiology professors Dr. Alison Oates and Dr. Joel Lanovaz have seen and appreciated the value of undergraduates in research. As co-directors of the Biomechanics of Balance and Movement Lab, Oates and Lanovaz are constantly working, interacting with and mentoring the undergraduate students on their projects. Every year, the lab becomes a research home for as many as six students whose tasks range from running the experiments, collecting and processing the data, and even interpreting and disseminating the results. Read more.

Dr. Xulin Guo: In 2016, U of S Geography and Planning professor, Dr. Xulin Guo, adopted a First Year Research Experience (FYRE) into her class, Geography 120: Introduction to Global Environmental Systems. Although hesitant to introduce research to relatively inexperienced students, Guo has since transformed her teaching practices to reflect the necessity of young scholars taking ownership of their classroom experience. Read more