Lee University Implements Work-Study Research Assistant Program

Sunday, October 25, 2020 - by Jamuna Gautam, Lee University

Lee University has launched the Work-Study Research Assistant Program to provide research experience to undergraduates under faculty mentorship.

According to Dr. Kevin Ung, WRAP partners first-year freshman and sophomore students with select faculty to conduct research they are interested in and utilizes the Federal Work-Study Program to identify the students who demonstrate a financial need and prioritize them for the opportunity. Dr. Ung is the director of the McNair Scholars Program and serves as coordinator for WRAP.

Among the faculty currently working with WRAP students are Dr. Thaddeus R. McRae, associate professor of biology; Dr. Jason Schmurr, associate professor of mathematics; and Dr. Arlie Tagayuna, associate professor of sociology.

“I enjoy walking with students through the research process,” said Dr. McRae. “The WRAP program directly helps train people in this process of science early in their time at Lee, which translates into greater experience and skill upon graduation.”

Dr. McRae is working with two students on his research about the use of trees on Lee’s campus by nesting birds. The research intends to utilize the findings to compare the diversity, abundance, and success of nesting birds between the ecosystem of campus and the ecosystem of local forests.

“This has been such a great experience,” said Sarah Wood, a freshman biology major with ecology and environmental emphasis, who works with Dr. McRae. “I think it’s so beautiful that I get to be a part of this program as a freshman and learn skills that I will use for the rest of my life.”

Stanley Miller, a freshman marketing major, is working with Schmurr on research about finding the win probabilities in various competitions. Their study is focused on finding the win probability of a player in Candy Land with the help of a feed-forward neural network.

“My experience has led to a significant development in my programming skills and statistical reasoning,” said Mr. Miller. “Every week I crash course topics like Python programming and neural networks. WRAP has benefitted me far beyond what I could do on my own.”

Dr. Tagayuna is working with sophomore criminal justice major Destiny Bravo on a research about the dynamics of policing from a Christian viewpoint. This national study explores the “lived-in” experiences of police officers who also happen to be preachers and how they navigate themselves through the various contemporary social issues confronting them. 

“WRAP benefits both students and faculty, primarily with the students’ exposure to research that they get introduced to early on and the faculty benefit from getting an extra hand in collecting and analyzing data,” said Dr. Tagayuna. 

 For more information about WRAP, contact Dr. Ung at kung@leeuniversity.edu.


CSCC Seymour Selected For National Study On Rural Community Colleges

Hansen Named Alum Of The Year For Lee’s Language And Literature Department

Huffling Receives Lee’s Science Department Alumnus Of The Year Award


Over the last several years Cleveland State Community College has been successful on several fronts. These include historic improvement to facilities, significant growth in student success and ... (click for more)

During Lee University’s virtual Homecoming celebrations earlier this month, Chris Hansen was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for the Department of Language and Literature. “Years ... (click for more)

Dr. Lacey Huffling (‘03) received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from Lee University’s Department of Natural Sciences. This honor was announced during a virtual Homecoming celebration ... (click for more)



Student Scene

CSCC Seymour Selected For National Study On Rural Community Colleges

Over the last several years Cleveland State Community College has been successful on several fronts. These include historic improvement to facilities, significant growth in student success and graduation rates, and strengthened engagement throughout its five-county service area. The college has received national attention for their work from the American Association of Community ... (click for more)

Hansen Named Alum Of The Year For Lee’s Language And Literature Department

During Lee University’s virtual Homecoming celebrations earlier this month, Chris Hansen was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for the Department of Language and Literature. “Years before becoming an award-winning filmmaker and department chair at a major university, Chris Hansen was an intellectually curious and ambitious literary scholar and creative writer whom I've ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tennessee Has 3,052 New COVID Cases, 13 More Deaths; Hamilton County Has 320 New COVID Cases And 1 New Death

The number of coronavirus cases in Tennessee is 366,518 on Sunday with 3,052 new cases. There have been 13 more deaths from the virus, for a total of 4,554, said state Health Department officials. Hamilton County had 320 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The new total is 17,826. There was one more death from the virus in the county since Friday, bringing the total to 153. ... (click for more)

Georgia Has 4 New Coronavirus Deaths, 1,700 New Cases

Georgia state health officials reported on Sunday there have been 4 additional deaths due to the coronavirus. The current total is 8,778. There were 1,700 new cases as that total reached 420,601 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Hospitalizations are at 34,782, up 58 from Saturday. Here are the numbers by county: Catoosa County: 2,054 cases, up 16; 29 deaths; 99 ... (click for more)

Opinion

County Employees Need A Bonus Too

A few weeks ago we learned that Sheriff Jim Hammond was asking for a second raise. Earlier this year Hamilton County employees were notified that "due to COVID-19" there would be no raises for employees of any kind this year. I guess Mr. Hammond didnt get that memo about no raises. Why is it that some employees will be getting a raise and others are not? That doesn't really ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facts - Deer & Trees

On Saturday deer season opens in Tennessee, and just as predictably as Tuesday will be the first day of December, the tree huggers will soon come running, clutching their “Bambi” books and bashing – if you please – the best conservationists among us. Those who hunt, and, yes, there is an undeniable thrill to the sport, do more for nature’s balance and the good of the land than any ... (click for more)