Program Activities

NSF Research Experience for Undergradutes (REU)

During the summer experience, students will engage in many hands-on educational activities. Students Will Engage in Hands-On Learning

  • Each REU student will complete an independent research project supervised by an REU faculty and a graduate student mentor.
  • Each REU student will complete an online orientation (1-week) followed by a 7-week on-campus REU in June and July 2020.
  • The online orientation will allow students to use Blackboard to view course outlines, course readings, and more extensive faculty profiles.  Students will complete CITI human subjects training during orientation.
  • The on-campus REU will consist of clinical research activities, mini-courses, a speaker series, and a mentored research project.

This is a sample weekly schedule of REU Program activities for participating REU scholars:

schedule table

Independent Research Activities

Students will complete individual research activities with faculty and graduate mentors.  In the first week, students will consult with mentors to develop 2-3 learning goals. 

With the faculty and graduate student mentors, the REU student will select a research question and testable hypotheses. Having the student generate their own hypotheses is what makes this REU experience different than a simple independent research study in which a student helps out in a mentor’s lab.

Mentors work closely with students to make sure they generate a testable hypothesis for an independent project. Students will consult with graduate student mentors and faculty mentors about informative outside readings and research design.

Each of the studies proposed by REU students have been or will be reviewed and approved by the IRB before being conducted.  When the studies involve children as participants, the faculty mentor or graduate student will accompany the student on the first day of data collection. 

students mentor with students REU students enjoyed outdoor activities, brunches, and lunches together throughout the program.


Students sitting in a circle

Areas of Research

  • Measuring Impairment in Middle- and High-School Aged Youth with SEB (Steve Evans)
  • Middle School and High School Interventions for Youth with SEB (Steve Evans)
  • Screening to Identify Youth with SEB (Julie Owens)
  • Implementation of Daily Report Card for Children with SEB (Julie Owens)
  • Factors Affecting Teacher Implementation of School Interventions for SEB (Julie Owens)
  • Family Functioning of Children with SEB (Brian Wymbs)
  • Parent Preferences for Mental Health Services for SEB (Fran Wymbs)
  • Exercise as an Adjunctive Intervention for Children with SEB ( Fran Wymbs)
  • Decision-making among children, patients, providers, and parents (Fran Wymbs)
  • Diversity and inclusion in health care (Dr. Franz)
  • The integration of social determinants of health into the health care system (Dr. Franz)
  • Expanding treatment for substance use disorder and related trauma among children (Dr. Franz)
  • Use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods (Dr. Franz)

Publications Authored or Co-authored by REU Students

  1. Monopoli, W.J., Margherio, S.M., Evans, S.W., Xiang, J., Brickner, M.A. & Langberg, J.M. (In Press). Risk and resilience factors for peer victimization in adolescents with ADHD. Journal of School Violence.
  2. Owens, J. McLennan, J., Hustus, C., Haines-Saah, R., Mitchell, S., Mixon, C., & Troutman, A. (In Press).  Leveraging Technology to Facilitate Teacher’s Use of a Targeted Classroom Intervention:  Evaluation of the Daily Report Card.Online (DRC.O) System.  School Mental Health.  

mentor and student Victor Torres, left, presented his findings at the on campus research poster presentation on the last day of the program. Hist mentor was Dr. Dawn Graham.

mentor and student Dr. Steve Evans and Angela Sophia Royo
how the  Exceptional Undergraduate Poster  Award
he received for her presentation at the
nnual Meeting of the Association for Behavioral
and Cognitive Therapies in November 2018.

Awards and Accomplishments

  • Two of our REU Participants (Lizzie Wilson and Valerie Velasco) were selected to present their research at the Council for Undergraduate Research hosted by National Science Foundation in October, 2019 and 2018, respectively.  Lizzie’s mentor is Dr. Steve Evans and Valerie’s mentor is Dr. Brian Wymbs.
  • Angela Sofia Royo was selected by the ADHD Special Interest Group as the Exceptional Undergraduate Poster at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) in November, 2018.  Angela’s mentor is Dr. Steve Evans.

Other Research Activities

  • Students will prepare a research presentation (taking place at the end of the summer) summarizing the results of their independent project.  
  • As a part of the speaker series, students will participate in at least one seminar about how to apply for research grants. 
  • Each year, 90-100% of our REU participants have presented their individual research projects at national conferences.

Educational Activities

Students will engage in the following educational activities:

  • “Training in Behavior Modification and Evidence-Based Treatments” 
  • “Treatment Outcome Research—Individual Response to Treatment for SEB” 
  • “Psychological Research Method and Analytical Skills” 
  • Weekly Writing Group
  • Survival Skills Course/Preparation for Graduate School Unit
  • Community Outreach Forums and Parent Education Workshops
  • Speaker Series on Special Topics related to Children’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems
  • Live observation of behavior modification techniques in summer clinical program for children with SEB

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