OSU-Lima adds lab research into courses

LIMA — Students studying biology are gaining more real-life interaction due to changes at Ohio State University-Lima’s campus. Assistant Professor Dr. Robin Bagley joined the Lima Rotary Club Monday afternoon to share the changes. The hope of the program is to ‘integrate’ research into course studies.

Bagley said the program did receive $50,000 to help fund a project.

“When I say undergrad research, I mean a student actually engaging in real research that will produce a real product at the end,” Bagley said. “The benefits are stronger if students get involved earlier in their careers as students. A student who has participated in undergraduate research is anywhere between three and five times more likely to graduate in theory. It increases their likelihood to persist in their degree programs.”

Bagley said the campus utilizes environments that surround the campus to collect data for the students to use, including Tecumesah Woods, Tecumesah Prarie and the Regenerative Farm Plots.

The biology department began incorporating research in the programs in the Spring semester.

“Every single biology major who comes to our campus has to take this course,” Bagley said. “We are making sure that every single biology student at OSU Lima gets to do at least one hands-on research project.”

As the course integration continues, the campus hopes to engage other entities along the way.

“We are looking for ways that we can reach out to more community members to learn about the needs that they have identified in our graduates that they would like them to have,” Bagley said. “The next step that we’re going to be doing is to bring in some of the representatives from local communities to tour our lab facilities and tell them a little bit about these initiatives.”

Bagley also said allowing community members to come to the facility will help determine what they hope to see.

“We can show them what we are implementing and our current things that we do in other courses,” Bagley said. “We will see if there are ways we can come to an agreement on what the priorities for skills are and see if there is a way they can help us to achieve those goals.”

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.