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Undergraduate Participation in Research In STEM Education (UPRISE)

The UPRISE Program was created in the spirit of INSPIRE’s mission to promote access to engineering for all students. UPRISE provides the opportunity for a diverse (gender, ethnicity and majors) population of undergraduate students to fill integral roles in INSPIRE and ENE’s research projects in engineering education as well as to be given the necessary training, tools and mentorship to conduct their own research in an area that most interests them and to become leaders within the academy. Mentorship for the academy comes from faculty, staff, and graduate students with expertise in engineering, educational psychology and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The training rendered by the UPRISE Program culminates in the interns presenting their research findings at undergraduate research symposiums and publishing in journals and proceedings, thus rounding out their academic experience. If you are interested in becoming an UPRISE student, please contact M. Terri Sanger at


See a list of our UPRISE Student Researchers

Alumni Reflections on their UPRISE Experience

"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


"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


"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