Answers to Your Questions About PURE

How are PURE-sponsored activities different from other research opportunities?

Students at WOU do a lot of research during their undergraduate careers. They use it as the foundation for academic papers, course finals and, sometimes, senior theses or capstone projects.

However, PURE involvement takes scholarly work further, always following professional academic standards and usually guided by faculty mentors. This type is research encompasses more than just writing papers; it might include performing arts, such as dance choreography or musical compositions, or oral presentations in front of an audience. Students often share their work in poster presentations or join topical panel discussions on the strength of their expertise.

Finally, students involved with PURE have the opportunity to submit their work in WOU’s academic journal, PURE Insights. If you aspire to seeing your research published in a scholarly journal, you no longer have to wait until grad school. Publication in an academic journal is a terrific boost to your career options and gives you the perfect starting point for building your curriculum vitae (CV).

Why should students participate in PURE-sponsored activities?

Students have a lot to gain when they decide to get involved in PURE. The most long-lasting advantage is that you learn important skills that can be used throughout your time on campus and your career after graduation. These are abilities such as public speaking skills, strong communication strategies, self-confidence, organizational skills and, of course, expertise in your chosen academic field.

Plus, participating in the Academic Excellence Showcase or the PURE Insights journal is fun! You get to establish a rapport directly with faculty mentors and peers while also sharing your creative side and building your resume.

How does a student participate in PURE-sponsored activities?

Check out our guide to undergraduate research to see what opportunities exist in your academic discipline. Once you find what you’re interested in doing, contact the faculty listed for that opportunity. If you don’t see anything listed, or have questions, please contact the PURE Coordinator.

Who will students be working with?

Students will be working with members of WOU’s faculty and staff. Project mentors generally are on the faculty, but staff members can also be mentors or session chairs. Ultimately, participants may work with many members of the campus community, including other students!

What do students learn from participating in PURE?

Students have the opportunity to learn all kinds of skills, as we mentioned above, by participating in PURE’s activities and programs. However, there are some “official” learning outcomes as well, all of which align with WOU’s priority of integrated learning. Students will:

  • Practice formal and professional communication of research and creative work conducted through the university’s academic programs
  • Discuss scholarly and creative work in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary settings
  • Demonstrate the role of empirical research, investigation, and original scholarly and creative work in the production of knowledge and meaning


Program for Undergraduate Research Experiences (PURE)

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