Research—and the relationships it fosters between students and professors—is one of the foundations of a Colby education. Research at Colby crosses all disciplines. In virtually every academic department, students have the opportunity to work with faculty members as research assistants or, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, to engage in research on a topic of their choosing. Student research projects often result in publication or other broad dissemination within particular disciplines. One of the best showcases of the diversity of student research is the Colby Undergraduate Research Retreat.
Organized by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kevin Rice ’96 and anticipating its fourth year in 2011, the retreat highlights research done by dozens of students at Colby each summer working full time with faculty. “While a retreat would not be unusual at a larger school, I think it is a unique opportunity for students at a smaller school, and it has proven to be a very important part of the summer experience on Mayflower Hill,” said Rice. The retreat also affords an opportunity for students to practice speaking and presentation skills.
The third annual Summer Research Retreat, held July 22-23, 2010, included nearly 90 student researchers, 25 faculty mentors, and two dozen guests, with a fantastic keynote lecture by Dr. Gregory Pomeroy ’81, a prominent orthopedic surgeon from Portland, Maine. The program included a daylong research symposium featuring student talks and poster presentations and whitewater rafting on the second day led by Rob Peabody ’96, owner of Crab Apple Whitewater.