LTU Research Day keynote to cover benefits of early research experience for students

SOUTHFIELD—A nationally recognized researcher on the positive influence of research opportunities early in students’ academic careers will be the keynote speaker at Lawrence Technological University’s 10th annual Research Day, Friday, April 21.

Erin Dolan is professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Innovative Science Education at the University of Georgia.

Erin Dolan. University of Georgia photo.

Dolan earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Wellesley College and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of California at San Francisco. Her first job out of college was at the University of Arizona, working with middle and high school teachers on science education. “I’ve always been very interested in how research experiences influence students’ career decisions. That includes early access to research, who people interact with as they do research, and how mentors influence career decisions,” Dolan said.

LTU President Tarek Sobh said Dolan’s experience makes her a natural candidate for Research Day at Lawrence Tech, since LTU prides itself on providing rich research opportunities to undergraduate students–from their first days on campus. In support of this effort, LTU received a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute five years ago to incorporate course-based research experiences, or CRE, into the undergraduate curriculum. The award from HHMI to LTU, the only college in Michigan to receive the award, also helps LTU promote research access to historically underserved populations.

“Giving undergraduate students opportunities to conduct meaningful, groundbreaking, published research is a key differentiator for Lawrence Tech,” Sobh said.

At LTU, Dolan said her presentation will cover how to best design research experiences for maximum benefit for students. Not all such programs are equally beneficial, she said.

Research Day at LTU features poster and in-person presentations of research by LTU students and faculty, along with selected high school and community college research projects. The program, which is free and open to the public, runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 21. There will also be an invitation-only preview Thursday evening, April 20. Last year, approximately 100 posters and papers were presented.

Stefanini, the global tech company with its North American headquarters in Southfield, is presenting sponsor of the event. Other sponsors include the Livonia-based heavy equipment firm Alta Equipment Co., the Ann Arbor biotech industry accelerator ArborHive, and the patent law firm Ward Law Office.

More information about the event at

Lawrence Technological University,, is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.


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