Research Experiences Give Concordia Students an Advantage
Concordia equips men and women for lives of service and faculty mentors play a key role. This goes beyond the classroom but in the field and includes faith development through mentorship.
A Christ-centered science education adds the extra responsibility to connect faith and work. Students who have internships are able to hone their skills as a professional and also are able to test their capabilities as a faithful Christian in the world. Concordia equips students for career and life.
“My greatest joy at Concordia is vocational counseling,” said Dr. John Jurchen, associate professor of chemistry, health careers program. “I love working with students to help them appropriately apply their gifts.”
For more than 20 years, recommending students for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) has been part of the science department. The REU helps prepare students for graduate study and gives them a research experience at an institution other than their own.
According to the National Science Federation, the REU program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. This program provides indirect funding for undergraduate students to participate in research.
The REUs are very prestigious and difficult to obtain. It takes a serious-minded student and many letters of recommendation from professors.
Concordia students have received these grants to work at a number of universities across the country including University of Wyoming, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of North Texas, Iowa State University, University of Kansas and Clemson University.
Besides REUs, all students in the sciences participate in some type of internship.
“Dr. Jurchen has taken a genuine interest in me and my career,” said Caleb Wehling, ‘17. “He has helped me get two great internships that will help prepare me for graduate school.”
Caleb recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in both biology and chemistry. He participated in two internships, most recently with the USDA.
Besides graduate school, many Concordia graduates apply for medical school.
According to Association of American Medical Colleges, 53,024 individuals applied for admission into medical school nationwide during academic year 2016-17 with 21,030 were accepted – that’s 39.66 percent.
“What this number does not reflect is how many times these individuals applied to medical school,” Jurchen said. “At Concordia University, 70 percent of our students get into medical school if they apply multiple times.”
This is much higher than the national average.