Language of Research

A spring semester 1-hour seminar, “The Language of Research.” prepares students for research, with a better understanding of the process of discovery earlier in their professional careers.

Dr. Kim Caldwell organized the course, and it is team-taught by Dr. Ruth Washington (Stillman College), Dr. Karen Rose (Sheleton State Community College), and Dr. Kim Caldwell (The University of Alabama). The course meets each week, alternating sites between the Stillman College campus and The University of Alabama campus. Course materials, including a glossary of technical terms, are available through Web CT, enhancing students’ access to course information and skills in the use of technology. Students analyze in detail, four research articles that have had major impact in molecular biology. Focusing on the end result of a successful scientific project is common, but gaining an understanding of the trail and error involved, of all the pitfalls along the way, presents a truer picture of what scientific research is like. A key element in the Language of Research is assigning students with mentors, comprised of faculty from UA and Stillman College. Interns also interview their mentors and explore why they selected their line of research, what had been the roadblocks, and what had been the most fulfilling aspect of discovery.