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Frequently Asked Questions

Two students in a lab, one with a laptop computer on the counter and the other with a beaker filled with yellow liquid

General Request for More Information

What is the Ignite Undergraduate Research Program?

The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) Ignite Program allows you to participate in a signature experience involving transformational learning opportunities. You will have the opportunity to learn more about your academic area of interest through undergraduate research – you will be able to dive right in! You will interact and collaborate with outstanding college instructors that, in many cases, are also world class researchers. The Ignite Program is offered exclusively to qualified first-year students pursuing a major within CAHNRS. Each Ignite Undergrad can earn up to $1,500 for participating in this program, dependent upon your hourly involvement.

Why is it important for me to be an Ignite Undergrad?

Being an Ignite Undergrad allows you to participate and be mentored in undergraduate research and experiential learning tailored to what most interests you. You will strengthen your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, focus on your academic and professional interests, and gain transferable skills that best prepare you to be job ready, day one! Additionally, you will gain access and develop relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students in your academic area of interest.

What are the qualifications for Ignite?

The qualifications for Ignite are below:

  • First year student showing academic interest in a CAHNRS major, for list of majors visit cahnrs.wsu.edu/academics/majors.
  • Enrolled at WSU as a full time student (12 or more credits)
  • Have a minimum high school or transfer GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale
  • Expressed interest in research
  • Complete Ignite Application to be considered and return to Herb Lengel

If you believe you meet these qualifications and were not contacted, please reach out to Herb Lengel at herbert_lengel@wsu.edu.

I’m interested! How do I get started?

If you qualify for the Ignite program, you will receive an electronic offer letter via email.

Please contact Herb Lengel, your college internship and career development coordinator at herbert_lengel@wsu.edu or by phone at 509-335-0049 to confirm your interest, then complete the Ignite Application to be considered.

If selected, Herb Lengel will work with you to explore your interests and help you identify a faculty member who will serve as your mentor for this experience during the 2022/23 school year.

You and your mentor will work together to identify a project for you to pursue that is related to your academic area of interest.

I don’t have a specific undergraduate major in mind. What should I do?

To qualify for this program, you must have an academic interest in a CAHNRS related major. There are a variety of majors in applied sciences offered within CAHNRS! To see which major would best suit you, please visit our CAHNRS website to review our majors: cahnrs.wsu.edu/academics/.

No experience is needed! You will be exposed to a variety of excellent academic learning opportunities. Curiosity is an excellent way to discover your major and professional interests.

I have a focused undergraduate major in mind. How will the Ignite experience benefit me?

Being an Ignite Undergrad will give you the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor who is an expert in your academic area of interest. Alongside your faculty mentor, you will gain hands-on experience, receive guidance and begin to develop a network of resources accessible to you to assist in navigating your college experience.

 

 

What if I am double-majoring and this is only one of my majors or I decide this is my minor? Do I still qualify?

To qualify for the Ignite Program, you must be enrolled in a CAHNRS major. If your additional major is in a different college within WSU, you qualify for this opportunity.

Pursuing only a minor within CAHNRS does not qualify you for this program.

Can I receive academic credit for participating in Ignite?

You can receive academic credit, but it is not required. Please speak with your faculty mentor and academic coordinator for details.

What are the program requirements?

Please contact Herb Lengel, your college internship and career development coordinator at herbert_lengel@wsu.edu or by phone at 509-335-0049 to confirm your involvement and secure a spot in this program.

Once you have contacted Herb, he will work with you to explore your interests and help you identify a faculty member who will serve as your mentor for this experience on-campus during the 2022/23 school year.

You and your mentor will then work together to identify a project for you to pursue that is related to your academic area of interest.

Time Commitment

What is the time commitment?

To get the most out of your Ignite experience, you should plan to apply approximately 10 hours per week. The good news is you will be working with a faculty mentor – someone who already understands your anticipated academic workload.

Upon arrival at WSU, you will have the opportunity to connect with your faculty mentor at our mandatory CAHNRS Ignite orientation dinner (offered within the first month of fall semester) to review expectations and establish a schedule that works for both of you.

How long does the Ignite Program last?

The Ignite Program occurs fall, spring, and/or the summer semester of your first year on-campus. You will have flexibility to meet your faculty mentor to discuss the best time to start the program. You will also meet with potential mentors and academic advisors during the mandatory Ignite orientation dinner typically held the first month of fall semester.

Are there required times and hours?

We require each Ignite Undergrad to attend the Ignite orientation dinner typically offered in the beginning of fall semester. There will be additional check-ins with your faculty mentor throughout the semester. Additionally, there will be an end-of-the-year celebration.

It is recommended you apply approximately 5-10 hours per week. Here are a few examples from previous Ignite Scholars:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons in Dr. Zack’s lab from 2-5pm for 13 weeks during fall semester
  • Tuesday and Thursday in Dr. Johnson’s lab from 8am-1pm for 13 weeks during spring semester
  • Wednesday and Friday afternoons in Dr. Carter’s lab from 1-3pm and on Saturdays at Spillman Agronomy Farm from 8-11 am for 14 weeks.

What do I do next?

I’m in! What do I do next?

Ignite Checklist

  • If you meet the qualifications you will automatically receive an electronic offer letter via email. Once you receive the offer letter, you will confirm with us that you would like to participate.
  • Complete Ignite Application to be considered and return to Herb Lengel – herbert_lengel@wsu.edu.
  • Attend New Coug Orientation.
  • Attend the Ignite orientation dinner typically offered during the first month of fall semester.

How do I get paired with a faculty Ignite mentor?

You will be paired with a faculty mentor that best aligns with your academic area of interest and professional aspirations. This will occur when you arrive on campus in Fall and participate in the Ignite orientation dinner typically offered within the first month of fall semester.

This is my first year of college and I'm interested in research. Will I be too overwhelmed?

This program is structured to assist you with making meaningful connections within your first year of college. Having a faculty mentor to guide you as you navigate the transition to WSU is a rewarding experience. Your faculty mentor is well aware of your academic workload and will guide your work. Your mentor will introduce you to a variety of professional opportunities and offer another voice of reason, as you embark on this new undergraduate journey.

There is a large amount of flexibility in your workload, and you will work with your faculty mentor to find a schedule that works for you. You will connect with your faculty mentor at the Ignite orientation dinner typically held during the first month of fall semester.

CAHNRS faculty and staff will assist you as you adjust to college life and will be with you every step of the way as you map out your Ignite journey.

When is the deadline for me to commit to the Ignite program?

Once you receive an offer letter you will need to contact Herb Lengel, your college internship and career development coordinator at herbert_lengel@wsu.edu or by phone at 509-335-0049 to confirm your involvement and secure a spot.