ASWSU student body resolution supports undergraduate research and SURCA

MEDIA: Mary Sanchez Lanier, Assistant Vice Provost, Washington State University, 509-335-2320,

Portrait photo of Kevin SchillingPULLMAN, Wash.—The Associated Students of Washington State University passed R46-14 on Feb. 1, a resolution supporting both undergraduate research and the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (SURCA), an annual spring poster event for freshmen through seniors college-wide.

The measure was introduced by Sen. Kevin Schilling, himself an undergraduate researcher who competed in SURCA 2016. He is one of four senators representing the College of Arts and Sciences on ASWSU.

“I am appreciative of Kevin putting together the resolution and inviting us to speak about our programs,” said Mary Sanchez Lanier, assistant vice provost. “WSU administrators will receive the ASWSU resolution and this show of support from ASWSU. We are very appreciative of the support.”

Among her many interests, virologist Sanchez Lanier has advocated for undergraduates doing research, pursuing scholarship, and engaging in creative activities—collectively called research—for decades at WSU and her professional organizations. She, with Shelley Pressley, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research in WSU Undergraduate Education, organize SURCA each year. Sanchez Lanier also teaches in the School of Molecular Biosciences, and Pressley in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Pressley teaches a basic course on undergraduate research, as well.

“Speaking to ASWSU at the invitation of Sen. Schilling was a great experience for me, something I’d never done before in my 25 years at WSU. It was also fun to watch how good the student senators are at what they do,” said Sanchez Lanier.

Undergraduate research happens every day, all across WSU, she said. More students than ever are realizing it’s a way to get hands-on learning experiences that enhance their resume and attractiveness to employers and graduate schools. As many as 24 percent of WSU seniors report that they have conducted research with a faculty mentor.

SURCA is the only venue on campus where students from all majors and campuses can show their research and results, and be eligible for awards for their presentations. The sixth annual SURCA 2017 is set for the afternoon of Mon., March 27 in the CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom. Students wishing to participate must submit abstracts describing their projects by Feb. 21. SURCA information is online at

Click here to read a copy of the resolution.