Pepperdine Voice Magazine
Faculty and Students Cross Disciplines to Discover Creative Solutions to Research Challenges.
by Megan Huard
We learn from a young age the value of "putting our heads together"–calling upon the expertise of our neighbors to find a new or creative solution to challenging problems. What is true for catching tadpoles and building sandcastles stands true in the world of higher education. Here the brainpower is stronger but the questions prove increasingly difficult.
Recognizing that multiple heads are better than one, the Office of the Assistant Dean for Research at Seaver College supports a program known as CDIUR, or Cross-Disciplinary/Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research. CDIUR brings together faculty and undergraduate students from different disciplines to tackle a research project during the summer months. Three faculty members select one research student from each of their disciplines to come together in "research clusters" that aim to publish a scholarly article or present at a professional conference. Past CDIUR projects have explored the chemistry behind art preservation and the connections between eating disorders and visual representations of food, to name just two.
Says Lee Kats, assistant dean for research at Seaver College, "The undergraduate research opportunity CDIUR presents is invaluable. Through close collaboration with faculty the students learn crucial research skills firsthand while gaining confidence in their own abilities. The faculty benefit from fresh ideas and unique perspectives. The results are always impressive."