Indiana University’s Office of Engaged Learning adds a new member to the team.
Kody Steffy, IU alumnus, has made his way back to IU to start a brand new office. Steffy will be directing IU Undergraduate Research (IUUR).
“Since my time as a graduate student at IU, I’ve been working with undergraduate students doing research and I really enjoyed doing research as an undergraduate myself,” Steffy said.
“I understood the transformative experience research could be, so it appealed to me to come in and work at the campus level and try to give students that experience.”
Before returning to Bloomington, Steffy worked as an assistant professor at Michigan State University where he studied inequalities among young adults and taught large sections of social science courses. Steffy has a doctoral degree in Sociology from Indiana University.
Steffy’s priorities for the office include knocking down barriers that might keep students from getting involved in engaged learning experiences and making sure that students in all fields of study get involved—from STEM to the fine arts.
The new IU Undergraduate Research website will provide students hoping to get involved in research with useful information, including resources across campus and new opportunities being launched by IUUR.
One of the new initiatives is a Research Scholars Certificate, which will recognize students who make research or create activity a central part of their IU experience.
Another is the Research Scholars Cohort Program, a collaboration with the Groups, Hudson & Holland, and 21st Century Scholars Programs. Students in this program enroll in a class taught by Steffy that focuses on research at IU during their first year. In their second year, they engage in mentored research. In their junior and senior years, they will make original contributions to their fields.
“It’s exciting. We get to be involved with students going above and beyond, which is really fun,” Steffy said.
“We get to work with really motivated students who are curious.”
Steffy envisions IUUR serving all students, regardless of their previous research experience. If a student is interested in doing research or create inquiry, then part of his job is to help them find opportunities to do so.
IU Undergraduate Research defines research as scholarly activities that contribute to the creation of knowledge—ranging from experiments in the natural sciences to poetry. There are opportunities for research and creative inquiry for students in all majors and at all levels.
“All students who are interested belong,” Steffy said.