Forums aim to involve students in important decision-making

Educating students may be Marquette’s primary goal, but the university also puts a priority on enriching its faculty’s knowledge by providing opportunities for academic research.

During this spring semester, a series of campus forums on research have been held to help the university “pull resources together to create a campus-wide research agenda that builds on existing strengths,” according to a university news brief.

Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school, has helped in organizing the series, and has hosted each session.

“The idea is to bring faculty together to identify common research/scholarship interests and brainstorm how we can better support these research efforts and develop new strategies to further research,” Hossenlopp said.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has partnered with Hossenlopp in creating the forum series in order to gauge the strength of the Marquette research community and the resources at hand, according to the office’s website.

The first forum was held in early February, and the second on April 5. Both dealt with the role of community and civic engagement in the research process.

“The forum was focused on bringing together faculty and finding out more about their research interests and programs that involve community partners,” Hossenlopp said.

The third installment of the series is slated to take place Thursday and will focus on gender, class and race. Specifically, the forum is aimed at discussing scholarship in areas like race, sexuality and gender studies and how to further those prospects.

Another focus of the forums is finding avenues of research for instrumentation and equipment in science and engineering, Hossenlopp said.

“In the fall semester, a group came together to discuss possible instruments for the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program,” Hossenlopp said. “A major goal for this forum is to work collaboratively to build infrastructure that could be used for different research projects.”

Hossenlopp said she felt the discussions have been productive and important in helping to formalize a research agenda for the university, and she is looking for more opportunities to further the discussion.

“At our most recent meeting, we discussed a potential workshop for next year that would help researchers and community partners work effectively together on research topics and find funding for these projects,” Hossenlopp said.

Including students in research matters is another prospect into which the forum has delved.

“While students have not been part of these faculty discussions, we have identified finding ways to engage students in these areas of scholarship as a common area of interest in all three groups,” Hossenlopp said. “This is a topic that I anticipate that we will explore in more detail next year.”