Undergraduate Participation in Research In STEM Education (UPRISE)

UPRISE has expanded opportunities to include engineering education research on the undergraduate and graduate level. UPRISE provides the opportunity for a diverse (gender, ethnicity and majors) population of undergraduates to fill integral roles in INSPIRE and ENE’s research projects. UPRISE students receive the necessary training, tools and mentorship to conduct research, develop their research skills and become valuable members on their research team. Mentorship comes from faculty, staff, and graduate students with expertise in engineering, educational psychology, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. UPRISE provides opportunities to participate at research symposiums and conferences and publish in journals and proceedings, thus rounding out students’ research experiences. 


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Professional Development

UPRISE organizes at least three professional development opportunities per semester for students. They also keep students informed about workshops hosted by the university and other organizations on campus. Below is a select list of workshops provided to students this year:
  • Creating A Symposium Poster
  • How to Build Your Reputation-Networking 
  • Developing Conference Abstracts 
  • Designing and Delivering Poster Presentations
  • Making the Most of Your Time
  • Discussing Research with Various Audiences
  • Selling Your UPRISE Experience to Prospective Employers
  • How to Build Your Resume and Highlight Your UPRISE Research Experience
  • Put together a competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP) application


UPRISE Student Researchers

To view a list of current UPRISE student researcher click here.


Program Contact

If you are interested in becoming an UPRISE student or learning more about the program, please contact M. Terri Sanger, UPRISE Program Manager at mtsanger@purdue.edu.

Alumni Reflections on their UPRISE Experience

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“Through UPRISE, I gained technical skills in analyzing data and conducting interviews, as well as in writing and presenting. These skills benefited me greatly in my work at Eli Lilly. I was also able to learn about the process of conducting research, applying for grants, and other skills necessary for a career in academia, informing my career planning decisions. UPRISE provided invaluable experience and connections that helped identify and shape my research interests and prepare me for graduate work. My mentors and experiences gave me the confidence to return to graduate school at Purdue to pursue a faculty position in Engineering Education, aiming to help underserved students by identifying and opening pathways to equitable engineering participation.” Beata Johnson, B.S. Chemical Engineering, PhD student in Engineering Education
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“Before I joined UPRISE, I didn’t fully understand what being a researcher entailed and had never considered graduate school. Through UPRISE, I got to see the full research process. It was wonderful to present our preliminary findings at ASEE. Being there and looking at global work others had done helped me understand how broad and impactful the field of Engineering Education can be to various communities.” Casey Haney, B.S. Aerospace Engineering, PhD student in Engineering Education

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"Working for UPRISE throughout my undergraduate career offered me opportunities to engage in research and scholarship that exceeded and supplemented my coursework. My mentors included me in every step of the research process, and my experiences with data analysis, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed publications were the highlight of my graduate school applications, and recently helped me to win a 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The skills I cultivated during my time with UPRISE continue to support me as I work toward my Ph.D and prepare for an academic career." - Brittany P. Mihalec-Adkins, M.S.Ed., PhD student in Human Development and Family Studies


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"My undergraduate research experience at UPRISE was one of the most valuable parts of my education at Purdue and instrumental in landing my first internship – a key factor to my success today. Through my work on the Draw an Engineer (DAET) project, I developed great practical and analytical skills while gaining a better understanding of what defines an engineer. This opportunity to conduct PhD-level research has been an essential addition to my resume, proving to employers I can work independently, think critically, and successfully evaluate results."  -Oksana “Susha” Kharchenko, Innovation and Design Engineer at Amazon


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"UPRISE allowed me to work with a rather intelligent group of people in an environment that catered to the higher learning and inspiration for young children. I had not been involved with anything quite like this before. Seeing the positive effects that engineering can have on young kids made me want to push myself as a young adult and challenge myself to look at the bigger picture in all roles I take on. I think we could all take a lesson from these children who dare to dream big through engineering and learning. As a new tech recruiter in Silicon Valley with no prior tech experience, I used this mindset to see the potential in the challenge. I've made it a goal to learn the skill sets and get to know people in the IT field who use their engineering degrees to advance themselves every day. Within the first 4 months of my being here, I closed my first deal. Starting a consultant on a project at the University of San Francisco, I reached my initial goal set forth and am still pushing myself to learn more." - Gabriel A. Valtierra, Tech recruiter in Silicon Valley