A recently released book by Joyce Kinkead, associate vice president for research at Utah State University, shares valuable insights in promoting and advancing undergraduate research.
Advancing Undergraduate Research: Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising, is designed to share successful models and strategies for promoting and funding undergraduate research programs, Kinkead said. The book is the first to address the growth and improvement of undergraduate research programs through advancement activities.
Kinkead said the book can be a critical addition to the library of advancement professionals, undergraduate research directors and faculty mentors or anyone who wishes to advocate for the power of research in an undergraduate’s education.
“This book was a lot of fun to write as we had so many excellent examples from Utah State to share, including posters of our stellar undergraduates and the many events where research is celebrated and the posters are shown, as well as in alumni newsletters, Kinkead said. “With a program that just celebrated 35 years, we had accumulated terrific cases.”
Marketing, communications and fundraising are tools that deliver the message to campus constituents, as well as to external audiences such as institutional donors, private foundations, government agencies and state and federal legislators, that undergraduate research is a high-impact educational practice that can transform students’ lives, Kinkead said.
An example is USU student Ryan S. Nelson, who presented his research on parasite resistance in sheep in January 2011 at Research on Capitol Hill. He is a philosophy major but intends to go to medical school.
“We’re not only doing research projects, but we’re learning how to become scientists,” Nelson said.
Each of the three sections of Advancing Undergraduate Research focuses on key principles of advancement philosophy: how to market undergraduate research; how to engage in strategic communications; and how to raise funds and also serve as stewards of those funds for donors.
Examples of best practices are included, gleaned from dozens of institutions, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan. The examples illuminate the concepts and principles introduced in the volume. Advice from savvy undergraduate research directors, as well as professionals in advancement, is incorporated to help readers formulate and customize their own advancement agendas.
“My colleagues at Utah State have been generous with their time in helping educate a faculty member on what it means to do strategic communications,” Kinkead said.
She credits Kent Clark of the Advancement Office; John DeVilbiss, director of Public Relations and Marketing; and Katie Jo Nielsen and Jennifer Putnam of Admissions, with collaborating on the manuscript.
“Of course, the main go-to people for marketing undergraduate research are colleagues in the Research Office — Anna Brunson McEntire, Jacoba Mendelkow Poppleton, and Kinsey Love,” Kinkead said.
Photography for the book was done by Love, and the visuals are one of its selling points, Kinkead said.
“Several of our publications have been adopted by other campuses,” she said. “I’ve seen a version of our abstract booklet for the State Capitol event from Minnesota.”
The Council on Undergraduate Research, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the publisher for Advancing Undergraduate Research: Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising. Utah State University is an institutional member of CUR.
Contact: Joyce Kinkead, (435) 797-1706, email@example.com