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Libraries Offers New Instructional Programming for the STAR Scholars

Contributing Author: Jaya Mohan, Assistant Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research.

Over the summer, sixty rising sophomores in the STAR Scholars Program participated in a four-week instructional series led by Nancy Bellafante, Librarian for Undergraduate Learning.

The STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars Program provides an opportunity for high-achieving first-year students to participate in faculty-mentored research, scholarship, or creative work. For many of them, the experience is their first introduction to research, and the Libraries offered them instruction on research skills. The program partnership was a success, and we plan to offer the series to more STAR Scholars in the future.

Bellafante coached students on how to use effective tools and strategies for finding sources and evaluating information. Students also developed methods for managing information, and practiced collecting and organizing sources using Zotero, an open-source tool to manage research sources. The final workshop in the series introduced students to Prezi, a Web-based presentation application and popular alternative to PowerPoint. Scholars used Prezi in their research presentations for the STAR Scholars Brownbag Luncheon Series, held in W.W. Hagerty’s Bookmark Café.

Instructional materials for the series can be found online in the STAR Scholars Zotero group library.

In addition to the instructional series, Bellafante and Peggy Dominy, Liaison Librarian for Math and Sciences, co-taught poster design workshops to STAR Scholars getting ready for their poster presentations at the Summer Showcase.

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