The Core program works to develop a solid understanding of the research process and the ability to critically analyze and interpret information. Academic research allows students to work with their natural curiosity; during the second semester of Core, students get the opportunity to experience the excitement of undergraduate research. Through Engage, Explore, and Express workshops, History Department Chair Kevin Ostoyich acquaints students with panels of faculty and upper level students who are actively engaged in research projects. Faculty members and senior students divulge how they discovered their research projects, navigated the research process, overcame obstacles, and ultimately chose the best way to present their research findings.
Supplementing the panel, Core students also learn how research is paramount in a variety of settings through a screening and discussion of a documentary film directed by Valpo faculty members Elizabeth Wuerffel ’00 and Saddam Al-Zubaidi ’15. In small group discussions, students develop questions for Professor Wuerffel regarding the challenges of filming, the process of preparing and later editing the film, and choices the film crew made about creating a final product.
These events help prepare Core students to complete a final research paper on a justice-related issue of their choice, with select students stepping onto the academic stage at the end of the semester to present their work at the Core Symposium.