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President Mentions UGS Programs in State of the University

President Powers mentioned two Undergraduate Studies programs in his State of the University address on Wednesday: the Signature Course program, and Undergraduate Research. At the second event in the recent University Lecture Series, Research Changes the World, Dean Paul Woodruff addressed the large audience of first-year students: “I urge you all to take advantage of the wonderful promise of research; first, change yourselves, then set about changing the world through research.”

President Powers on undergraduate research: “Before graduating from UT in May, Plan II/biology student Aaron Seo worked in a pediatrics research and immunology lab looking for ways to treat children with autoimmune disorders. During the summer following his freshman year, he worked at UT-M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He’s searching for a molecule that can inhibit the growth of a protein associated with brain cancer. Now he’s gone on to the University of Washington to pursue his MD-PhD. The kind of experience Aaron received as an undergraduate at UT is what a research university is all about. More Aarons mean more cures, but you only get Aarons when you maintain robust research universities where students have strong and accomplished mentors at the cutting edge of their fields.”

On the Signature Course program: “We’ve transformed our undergraduate curriculum, including instituting our Freshman Signature Courses that bring experienced faculty to our undergraduates in small groups the moment they arrive on campus. As most of you know, I teach one of these, and it’s a wonderful experience. We also engage new students through our Freshman Research Initiative. And we have instituted what we call “flag” requirements that focus on skills such as writing and critical thinking, not just on facts and subject matter.”
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