Case Study: International Summer Research Experiences Sponsored by TAMUS LSAMP Conference Paper uri icon


  • The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) supported two forms of international research experiences for undergraduates in the summer of 2022. A total of 29 students, 82.3% of whom identified with underrepresented groups, participated in either a ten-day program in the Yucatan, Texas A&M Universitys College of Engineering Introduction to Research Abroad (IRAP), or a two-week intensive course in Belize, Texas A&M University Corpus Christis Ridges to Reefs program (R2R). The first offered an introduction to research in collaboration with universities in the Yucatan while the second considered ecology of river and coral reef systems in Belize with programming offered on land and at the Mesoamerican Coral Reef. Pre- and post-participation surveys regarding prior experience, research skills, a variety of potential impacts, graduate school, and learning were conducted with participants. Comparison of the pre- and post-participation submissions indicated participants found the offerings valuable for learning about concepts related to their major and specific topics in the sciences, learning about research, themselves, history and culture, refining education and career plans, developing confidence in personal ability, expanding conceptions of research, science and culture while increasing openness to employment outside the United States, and ability to relate to peers and professional scientists. These outcomes were present for both cohorts, IRAP and R2R, with some instances of statistically significant increases pre- to post-participation despite the small counts of participants (IRAP = 18, R2R = 11). Several of the outcomes parallel findings from prior support of international research experiences by TAMUS LSAMP (Preuss et al, 2020; Preuss, et al, 2021; Preuss et al, 2022). The survey findings from summer 2022 are presented as an initial data set that, while requiring verification through replication of programming in 2023 and beyond, point to the efficacy of short-term international research opportunities as learning, perspective altering, and motivating experiences for undergraduates who identify with underrepresented groups and for undergraduates in general.

published proceedings

  • 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

author list (cited authors)

  • Preuss, M. D., Avila, J. A., Butler-Purry, K. L., Walton, S., Alves, M. C., Walewski, J., ... Szczerbinska, B.

complete list of authors

  • Preuss, MD||Avila, JA||Butler-Purry, KL||Walton, S||Alves, MC||Walewski, J||Medina Cetina, Z||Withers, K||Bahr, KD||Sentz, S||Szczerbinska, B

publication date

  • June 2023