Nearly 100 students from across the University of Michigan will showcase their research projects as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program during a pair of virtual events July 29 and Aug. 4, both of which are open to the public.

UROP is a program that creates opportunities for first- and second-year undergraduates to collaborate with research mentors and community organizations on projects across many disciplines. Students engaged in UROP’s Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program will present their work July 29, followed by the Summer Symposium on Aug. 4.

The summer research fellowship program allows students to remain engaged in research over the summer with an intensive, paid 10-week independent research experience.

“UROP understands that each scholar’s journey is unique. The distinctive experiences offered by the program, tailored to students’ interests, serve as a valuable opportunity for exploration,” said UROP Director Michelle Ferrez.

“Through their research projects, fellows develop deeper insights into the fields of study they would like to pursue and get the chance to ‘try them on for size.’ It also illustrates to summer fellows how research is vital in shaping the society we live and understanding it.”

Below are three projects that will be featured during the upcoming events.

Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Brooklynne Bates’s project, Dream of Detroit, is an educational initiative that aims to document and share the stories of leadership within the African Muslim and African American Muslim community in Detroit by creating a website that will host a short documentary film and articles. Bates helped film and edit oral history interviews that are shared on their website.

“The Black Muslim community in Detroit has been overlooked for far too long, and I wanted to have a role in helping to create spaces in which they can tell their own stories and have their voices not only heard but celebrated,” Bates said.

Women and Gender Summer Fellowship Program

Maya Millette worked on identifying differences in health insurance, health-care access and health outcomes between postpartum individuals in rural and urban communities. Millette also worked to find strategies to help improve insurance coverage and health outcomes among rural residents who give birth.

She first learned about the project when Lindsay Admon, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical School, gave a guest lecture in her women’s studies reproductive health course.

“There is still so much to learn about these health disparities and how we can develop interventions that strategically target the right solutions for these populations,” Millette said.

Engineering Summer Research Fellowship

Andres Garcia’s summer research fellowship is focused on designing and constructing an autonomous, solar-powered greenhouse for the Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum in Detroit. The greenhouse is being built in the shape of a bead, merging cultural tradition with the conveniences of a high-tech greenhouse.

“I’ve come to learn that research is such a large and diverse topic that you can definitely find research that you’re passionate about. It’s all about pushing the boundaries, working on projects that will push your knowledge to new extents, and do wonders for your field of study,” Garcia said.

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