Why Research Matters in LAS

Dean Vidler shared the following by email to the LAS Community on July 22, 2020:

If there’s anything that the current pandemic and social upheaval have shown us, it’s that cutting-edge research is absolutely critical to support public wellbeing and progress.

The College of Letters, Arts & Sciences is doing its part to contribute to those efforts. Research is a fundamental part of what we do in LAS. Not only are our research activities integrated into our teaching mission, but we also make new discoveries that help to advance our understanding of the world. Through those discoveries, we are catalysts for economic, social and cultural change in our communities.

We know that by participating in research, students learn by doing. LAS students have many opportunities to actively participate in research with the support of faculty mentors. I am actually working with a research assistant this summer on an article on Cervantes. Research activities help both undergraduate and graduate students become skillful and creative problem-solvers. Just this week, a number of LAS students earned summer research fellowships for their promising work and potential for further innovation ( 2020 URA Cohorts). These projects include studies on dementia, autism, microwave antenna, and the creative applications of technology to musical composition. Not only will the findings from these projects help us better understand the world and ourselves, but the completed projects themselves help demonstrate to potential employers that LAS students are capable of proposing, planning and executing a long-term project with significant impact.

Our faculty’s research helps Colorado and the world to make progress on global challenges. In 2019, UCCS was named a “high research activity” university, a distinction that recognizes our significant grant-funded activity as well as research and creative scholarly output. LAS faculty are Fulbright scholars, competitive grant recipients and sought-out speakers, writers, artists and performers in both national and international venues. Four LAS professors were recently featured on NPR’s “ The Academic Minute” to share their research advances with the public (June 12 UCCS Communique ). LAS researchers are studying the impact of the current pandemic on student well being. LAS artists and performers are finding new ways to create and collaborate through the various pandemic-related limitations on gathering. These projects serve Colorado and the world and also help to make our classes as up-to-date as possible, not only with recent research results, but also with the most current and compelling questions that researchers are still facing.

I am incredibly proud of our student and faculty researchers. Their collaboration, innovation and creativity help to make progress on global challenges and make the world a better place to work and live. Keep an eye out on our website and on social media for fascinating stories about our LAS researchers.

L. Lynn Vidler, Ph.D. (they/them/theirs)
Professor and Dean, College of Letters, Arts & Sciences

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