Q&A with faculty mentor Troy McDaniel

Posted on: April 8, 2021

What made you want to get involved as a FURI and MORE mentor?

My motivation to participate as a FURI/MORE faculty mentor stems from the purpose and goals of the program. FURI is a springboard to promote research-oriented thinking, a skill critical for our undergraduate students. I encourage my FURI and MORE students to devise a research project from the ground up, develop their budgets and consider broader impacts. These are important skills regardless of your career trajectory in STEM.

What is your favorite part about seeing your students conduct research?

I enjoy watching my FURI and MORE students become increasingly independent as they lead their research projects from inception to public presentation of their results.

How have your FURI and MORE students had an effect on your research?

Most of my FURI and MORE students continue their research projects well beyond the semester time frame. I encourage my students to think long-term and to articulate their vision and goals for the project, whether it be applying for a patent or publishing a conference paper.

Why has the mentor experience been rewarding for you?

My most rewarding experience has been watching the impact the FURI and MORE programs have on students. This is a period in a student’s academic career where his or her trajectory is the most malleable. I firmly believe that FURI and MORE have long-lasting, positive impacts on students’ future careers in STEM.

What advice would you give to students who might be interested in participating in FURI or MORE?

Don’t wait until your final year to apply for the FURI and MORE programs. Identify a faculty member with common research interests and communicate your interest in applying to your mentor as soon as possible.

Why should other faculty members become FURI/MORE mentors?

As a FURI/MORE mentor, you’ll have access to a platform to recruit, support, mentor and impact students as they conduct meaningful research.