A Win-Win-Win Situation
In 1986, biology professors MRC Greenwood '68 and Robert Suter hatched an idea that would go a long way toward solving three problems: the need to provide faculty with resources (i.e., money and assistants) to carry on their various research programs, the need to provide students with hands-on laboratory training, and the need to address the projected shortage of trained scientists (an estimated 700,000 by 2010).
What they envisioned was a 10-week summer program that would provide faculty members with willing and able assistants, and students seriously considering advanced work and/or careers in mathematics and the sciences with an invaluable opportunity to test-drive the life of a research scientist.
Since its inception, the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI) has given more than 600 Vassar students the experience of working one-on-one with a faculty mentor and in many cases coauthoring papers for publication in scholarly journals.
Photo credit: College Relations photo archives