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Identity, Authorship, Access

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Alyssa-Rae Hug

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of Identity, Authorship, Access

Identity, Authorship, Access: Undergraduates’ Definitions of Research in the Academy
Alyssa-Rae Hug
As an undergraduate, I participated in research, including having the opportunity to present at the national Conference on College Composition and Communication.
The following year, I returned as part of a panel of one other undergraduate student and a master's student. We were accepted via the blind review process.
The undergraduate poster session was set apart from the rest of the conference, and
marked only by this computer-paper sign
.


So, I began to do research on undergraduate research.
I learned that my definition of research, which I formed as an undergraduate researcher, is not present in the literature.
My identity as an undergraduate researcher was formed in classrooms and beyond:

Research, for me, became the process of fleshing out an idea, an analysis, an observation;
The
grand narrative of undergraduate research
, as defined in the literature, is composed of a few components. It is:
Students are seen as operating on a
pathway toward professionalization
But, undergraduate research is rarely considered valuable for researchers' own insight and knowledge.
Purdy and Walker state that students are kept in the
liminal space
between learner and researcher,
In my thesis study, I wanted to introduce undergraduates' own narratives about research to this grand narrative.
So, I recruited senior undergraduate students at St. John's to talk about their experiences with and ideas about research and being a researcher.
I've just concluded focus groups with 8 undergraduate students, and I am currently rhetorically analyzing the transcripts of those focus groups.
Music:
La Brisa del Tiempo
Santiago Trigueros

I hope to look further into:
the experiences that undergraduates associate with "research" and being a "researcher"
the tension between inclusive, "at-home" definitions of research and more exclusive, academic or professional definitions
ideas about the boundaries and credentials involved in becoming a researcher
ways that these narratives complicate the grand narrative of undergraduate research
So, from this liminal space, an undergraduate must become a researcher as defined by the academy rather than by her own identification as such.
practice
, a stepping stone to graduate and professional work, a way to learn the standards and expectations of the field in a low-risk medium
a “high-impact practice”
which enhances the undergraduate experience and allows students to engage with learning in the university setting
useful for faculty
as a way to complete and share their own research
learning what others have thought to push my thinking to its limits and discover where I am positioned among those others;
and then ultimately authoring something to communicate my ideas to the community of other ideas,
so that my thinking can help someone else push on their own ideas
.
in government & politics I learned how to use sources to join an intellectual conversation
in English, I learned to use the strength of my voice to argue for my readings of texts, in any form
in my independent research projects, I expanded my audience beyond teachers and peers
It was in this second year that I became aware of the
marginalization
of the research that undergraduates do.
I first presented as a junior in the first undergraduate poster session.
I wanted to know, do professional academic researchers address the
marginalization
,
liminality
,
access
, or
gatekeeping
of undergraduates in research?

And, what
is
undergraduate research?
...from washing beakers or indexing books to making knowledge in a disciplinary way
and their faculty mentors grant them
access
to each step on that path.
as
“transgressors” of the boundaries
between the outside world (nonexpert) and academia (expert).
Full transcript