Tuskegee student and Dr. Johnson among firsts for programs


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (August 26, 2014) — Allowing students to participate in undergraduate research engages their intellectual curiosity, satisfies their thirst for discovery, and gives them an outlet for their creativity. This summer, Chaniya Marshall, a senior sociology major from Los Angeles, participated in the Carolina Population Center Summer Internship Program (CPC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The internship was a nine-week program that consisted of GRE classes, data programming classes, journal club meetings as well as independent research topics.

Marshall is the first Tuskegee University student to participate in the program and Tuskegee president, Dr. Brian Johnson, participated in a related program, the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program or MURAP, as an undergraduate in 1994. MURAP seeks to increase the number students from diverse backgrounds that enter into graduate school and faculty positions within the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts in U.S. colleges and universities. According to Marshall, the MURAP program works hand in hand with CPC.

“I am honored to be the first student from Tuskegee University to be accepted into the program,” Marshall said. “Being in a program closely related to the one Dr. Johnson was in was a great experience. I was already giving the program 100 percent, when I learned Dr. Johnson had been named president, I gave it 150 percent.”

"It was a great pleasure to learn that Chaniya was participating in UNC Chapel Hill's CPC program. When I participated in MURAP, in 1994, precisely 20 summers ago, it was a defining point in my academic and intellectual development. They have many programs and they run hand in hand. For example, (SPGRE) Summer Pre-Graduate Research Experience ran in concert with MURAP.” Johnson said. “I was also pleased to learn from the program leaders that I was the first alumnus to become a college/university president. 

Dr. Lisa Hill, dean of Tuskegee’s College of Arts and Sciences, said that undergraduate students who engage in internships and subsequent research opportunities are better prepared for the world after graduation. She also said these opportunities often give students a chance to work with experts in their field and can lead to significant publications. 

“Real-time research, travel and writing affords students avenues to professional and academic networks that are often reserved for students at the graduate and post-graduate levels,” Hill said. “In other words, such ventures are truly priceless. The virtual world literally has nothing on organic experiences.

Personally knowing the value of student research experience, Johnson counts such opportunities as one of his administration’s priorities. 

“All the same, the important idea is that student research/internship experiences are one of the outcomes that colleges and deans will have assessed going forward here at Tuskegee University and Chaniya's participation in this program will go to the credit of Dean Lisa Hill's unit," Johnson said.

© 2014 Tuskegee University

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