At Southwestern, undergraduates become independent researchers who take ownership of their own inquiry. As early as their first year on campus, students are invited to engage in multiple research opportunities, such as SU’s Summer Collaborative Opportunities and Experiences, or SCOPE. Through such programs, Southwestern students develop authentic, previously unexplored questions and test their own hypotheses, making original contributions to their fields.

Last summer, Antonio Mendez ’20 spent eight weeks studying a genetic element that can accelerate antibiotic resistance across bacteria. His work was supervised by Associate Professor of Biology Martín Gonzalez. Here, the SCOPE scholar and Gonzalez discuss the Southwestern difference in undergraduate research: SU students can become lead investigators, creating meaningful connections between the classroom and the lab.