Undergraduate Research: How to get involved at Sewanee and advice from Peers

These days, it takes more than a solid GPA and high-test scores to get into any health profession graduate program. Medical schools are looking for applicants with unique experiences. Undergraduate research is something that is very unique to Sewanee. Most institutions can only provide assistant research positions to graduate students, but at Sewanee, one can work side by side with their professors in a lab starting the summer before ones freshman year. It is false belief that undergraduate research is only for a selective few. If you’re interested in research or enjoy spending time in the lab, Sewanee is extremely accommodating. Here are some examples of peers that are involved in research and want to share with you how to get involved!

David Dan ‘15

Hometown: Bowie, Maryland

Major: Chemistry

Interest in Research: Always thoroughly enjoyed science courses and the labs that were included in them. “ My experience my freshman year of lab really motivated me to find a research opportunity.”

How they got involved: At Sewanee, it is not uncommon for you to see your teachers out and about on a regular basis, in between office house, passing periods, and even the dining hall. I am very comfortable with my professors and I have been able to participate in research with 3 different teachers since my sophomore year.

Future Goals: I will either work for a major chemical company or apply for medical school.

Words of Advice: Always try your best, so you never have regrets. The pre med track can sometimes be a bumpy road, but stay strong and don’t give up.


The lab after a long days work.

Bradford Lepik ‘16

Hometown: Jasper, Alabama

Major: Chemistry

Interest in Research: I really enjoyed my organic chemistry class and had always appreciated the labs the I had taken along with my science courses. Since I was interested in applying for med school, I wanted something to go on my resume. Also, my interest in chemistry drew me to the lab because that was were all the fun happened.

How they got involved: I had had pretty strong relationships with my science professors due to the small class sizes. I just approached each of my professors and asked them about their research, decided which research interested me the most, and ask that professor if I could help out. He said yes!

Future Goals: I plan on applying for Med- School in the spring and look forward to continuing my research.

Words of Advice: Don’t be afraid to approach your professors. Here at Sewanee, our teachers adore their students. Participating in a lab helps you get to know your professor really REALLY well. This is always a major perk when you need a recommendation for med school or internships.

Bradford’s sketching as he described his research.

 Antinea Jones ‘17

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

Major: Biology

Interest in Research: Bridge Program of Math and Science (a program designed to encourage students whose backgrounds and experiences would contribute to and enrich the diversity of our academic community and who are interested in math and science) “ It gave me a leg up when going to college… I was able to meet a lot of new people and speak to math and science professors, while getting involved in research as an incoming freshman.”

How they got involved: Continued the Research she began in the Bridge Program

Future Goals: Aspires to become a nurse practitioner or go to grad school to study epidemiology.

Why they love RESEARCH: I was able to meet a lot of upperclassmen, who would encourage me, assist me, and even influence me on my journey throughout college. They were a great resource. It was also a good experience seeing what life in the lab was like.

Words of Advice: GET INVOLVED NOW! It’s never too early to start looking for internships or research opportunities. Your professors are your greatest resource; don’t hesitate to ask them for help.

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