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Collaborative Research: The Endicott Way

9/25/2019

With a history steeped in experiential learning and personal enrichment, Endicott College is leading the way in faculty and student research collaboration. 

Every semester, faculty team up with undergraduate and graduate students to conduct research that contributes to the social, educational and economic health of the community. This learn-by-doing approach has reciprocal benefits—many professors and students co-author publications and present their work at regional and national conferences. It’s a fundamental component of an Endicott education. 

“Personal, hands-on learning takes on a whole new meaning at Endicott,” says Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., the College’s seventh president. “Research isn’t restricted to just upperclassmen interested in applied sciences. At Endicott, every student in every discipline deeply explores an area of interest within the major. Our students work side-by-side with faculty—as early as their freshman year—and use methodology to hone a research focus that informs and impacts the community.

“These partnerships truly embody the spirit of academia: scholarship, discovery and collaboration.”

Poster of faculty-student research on gender inequality explored through visual designArtwork from #shatter, a collaborative research
project that explores the story of women and inequality.

A Competitive Edge

Last year, Professor of Graphic Design Danielle Currier and Mackenzie Cunha, ‘19 B.F.A., worked together on topics recently exposed in today’s headlines. The research, titled “Gender Inequality Explored through Visual Design,” focused on telling the story of women and inequality through data visualizations and large-scale information designs.

As part of her senior thesis project, Mackenzie created a multi-faceted campaign called #shatter to spread public awareness about the gender pay gap, and to unify the community to rise up and shatter the glass ceiling.

“The collaboration between our students and faculty culminates in unprecedented, original work,” says Vice President and Dean of the Undergraduate College Laura Rossi-Le. “Our undergraduate students are encouraged to think bravely and creatively, which sets the foundation for self-exploration and personal development. And when they partner with faculty on these research endeavors and special projects, they truly become partners in the ownership of the work. These are experiences you don’t typically find in a traditional undergraduate setting. It’s one more experience that sets an Endicott student apart from others, and gives them a competitive edge in the workforce.”

Another Endicott advantage is the College’s four-year internship program, which includes two 120-hour internships—one during the freshman year and one during the sophomore year—and a full-time, 14-week semester internship senior year.

This model ensures students are fully prepared for enriching careers immediately upon graduation. And others are taking note: U.S. News & World Report recognized Endicott as the No. 9 school in the U.S. for co-ops/internships, tying Stanford University. Criteria for recognition included schools requiring or encouraging students to apply what they're learning in the classroom out in the real world—through closely supervised internships, practicums or cooperative education.

“Many students first find their area of interest during their required internship,” says Rossi-Le. “That dive into the real-world will often spark their passion and natural curiosities. From there, students can collaborate with faculty on research topics applicable to their experiences.”

Leading the Workforce

Students at Endicott’s Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies engage in a broad range of research activities to support faculty scholarship, publication, policy making, and problem solving.

For example, students in the MBA program participate in internships and field studies, and use their program knowledge to engage in hands-on learning. They learn to data-mine, create metrics and analyses for generating reports, manage projects, and develop strategies to solve real-world problems. The MBA curriculum, coupled with the ability to complete internships and field studies over two semesters, enables students to build robust resumes and apply the skills they learn in professional venues.

“Endicott is becoming known as a leader in faculty-student collaboration,” says Associate Provost of the Van Loan School Chrystal Porter. “We foster a mentorship environment where professors and students can work together, in and out of the classroom, to build a society that thrives on critical-thinking and problem-solving, skills applicable in every discipline. Our graduate students are leaders in the fields of health, education, business, industry, government, and more.”

Endicott’s strong history of experiential learning helped propel its ranking to No. 23 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Regional Universities North list. The College was also ranked as No. 10 Most Innovative Schools for making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

Collaboration in Action

Students and faculty members will present their collaborative research during Endicott’s Faculty and Student Teaching and Learning Symposium on Thursday, September 26.

The symposium, which will be held in the Curtis L. Gerrish School of Business and Ginger Judge Science Center from 4–6 p.m., is the first event leading up to the inauguration of President DiSalvo, which will be held Friday, September 27.

Attend the symposium to learn more about undergraduate and graduate research at Endicott.

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