Undergraduate Research Lab

Enhance Your Undergraduate Journey Through Research

The Undergraduate Research Lab

Provides all students the opportunity to immerse themselves in academic research and experience a high-impact practice that takes their skills to the next level. Our lab provides a graduate-level experience for undergraduates, including the opportunity to present at academic symposiums. We particularly welcome first-generation, minoritized, and transfer-undergraduates who aspire to acquire critical skills for graduate school and explore the real-life applications of interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary research.

Our Scholars:

  • Connect with SDSU faculty researchers you admire, both internal and external, and learn how to proactively write a letter of interest to their labs.

  • Develop competitive skills for graduate and professional school applications and job opportunities by building up your research experience.

  • Learn how to foster and maintain reciprocal relationships as a key to success in your academic career.

  • Get coaching and mentoring from peer mentors who have traveled a similar path or are current grad students, and see how what you learn in our seminars and workshops is truly useful in the field of research.

  • Expand your worldview and ignite a passion for new research methods that could even help you grow in your career choices.

  • Collaborate with others to contribute to research gaps and make an impact in your community.

  • Gain practical steps towards participating in the SDSU Annual Student Research Symposium through our lab.

  • Join us for a timeline of workshops that will teach you valuable skills and techniques.

We Aspire To Inspire

Undergraduate Research & Mentorship

Faculty-led by Dr. Cynthia Park, the Faculty-Student Mentoring Program (F-SMP) supports student engagement and development through undergraduate research, scholarship and creative initiatives. F-SMP scholars dedicate themselves to their projects throughout the academic year, and we are proud to see them present their work to the SDSU community.

Discover Student Excellence

The Health Careers Opportunity (HCO) Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars Program provided financial and academic support for low-income, first-generation, culturally diverse college students as they prepared for post-secondary education in health-related fields.

Meet The F-SMP Scholars

Our program is dedicated to fostering the next generation of thinkers, innovators, and leaders through hands-on research experiences. At the core of our program are our undergraduate research scholars, who represent the bright minds and diverse perspectives that drive our research community forward. 

Introducing the 2023 - 2024 F-SMP Cohort:

Major: Psychology

Year: 4rd year/Senior

Research Interests: Neurology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Park

Major: Kinesiology-Pre-PT

Minor: Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience & Interdisciplinary Studies

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: Physical Therapy

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sara Gombatto

F-SMP Scholar Chris

Major: Psychology

Minor: Counseling and Social Change

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: School Psychology 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tonika Green

F-SMP Scholar Christaysha

Major: Psychology

Minor: Interdisciplinary studies

Year: 2nd year/Sophomore

Research Interests: Neuropsychology.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Park

F-SMP Scholar Ellah

Major: Psychology

Minor: Statistics

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: Neuroscience or Neuropsychology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Park

F-SMP Scholar Emily

Major: Public Health

Year: 1st year/Freshmen

Research Interests: Medicine Psychology, Public Health, Forensic Science, Emergency Medicine

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Park

Major: Psychology

Year: 4rd year/Senior

Research Interests: Latina mother/daughter dynamics, narrative studies

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elva Arredondo, Dr. Cynthia Park

F-SMP Scholar Ilse

Major: Psychology with a Neuroscience emphasis

Minor: Spanish

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: Neuroscience or Neuropsychology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jessica Mueller-Coyne, Dr. Katherine Turner

Faculty Research Lab: LEAF Lab

F-SMP Scholar Ingrid

Major: Biology

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: Biology, Biochemistry, Neurological disorders and diseases, specifically Alzheimer's

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Park

Major: Computer Science/Psychology

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: Bridging technology and healthcare. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Luwen (Vivian) Huangfu

Faculty Research Lab: AI4Business Lab

F-SMP Scholar Kristen

Major: Psychology

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: Criminal Psychology, narrative research.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Park

F-SMP Scholar Luke

Major: Psychology

Minor: Interdisciplinary Studies

Year: 3rd year/Junior

Research Interests: Clinical Psychology, child development, counseling.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sara Gombatto, Dr. Cynthia Park

Faculty Research Lab: GOALS/Metas

Viridiana F-SMP 2024 Scholar at SDSU Student Research Symposium

Major: Chemistry

Year: 4rd year/Senior

Research Interests: Pharmaceutical research

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Luallen

Faculty Advisor Lab: Luallen Lab

F-SMP Scholar Yesenia

Embracing Your Unique Journey & Empowering Others Along The Way

The F-SMP 2024 - 2025 Scholar Application will open this summer. Check back in July for more information on applying.

HCOP 2019 Cohort Outside

Celebrating Student Achievements in Research Conferences

Scholars engage in a wide range of projects spanning various disciplines, from cutting-edge scientific research to impactful social sciences inquiries. F-SMP scholars are expected to present their preliminary research at the SDSU Student Research Symposium in Spring 2024. The symposium was held March 1, 2024 from 9AM - 5PM at SDSU in Montezuma Hall.

Research Title:


Navigating Success: The Impact of the Henrietta Goodwin Scholars Program on Academic Excellence and Student Transition at San Diego State University

Christaysha McDowell

Intersecting Identities: Empowerment through Undergraduate Autoethnographies

Emily C. Le, Ilse N. Lopez, Viridiana Holguin Solorio, Minseo “Luke” Kim, Ellah Fessenden

An Exploratory Study on the Relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Need for Closure

Ingrid Anna Yu

Medical Question and Answering System Review

Kristen Waterford

Association Between Pain Severity and Low Back Movement During Functional Activities in Latino People with Chronic Low Back Pain

Viridiana Holguin Solorio

Searching for New Bacterial Pathogen with a Host-Bacteria Interactions Workshop

Yesenia Rodriguez

Exposure to Diverse Perspectives

Presenting research out-of-state exposes students to a wider range of perspectives, enriching their understanding of their field and fostering interdisciplinary connections. One of our scholars will be traveling to Philadelphia to present at the 45th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions March 13th - March 16th:

Research Title:

Unveiling the Strengths and Strains: A Family Stress Theory Exploration of COVID-19 Stressors Among Latina Mothers
Ilse N. Lopez

Building Professional Networks

By presenting research in new locations, students have the opportunity to network with professionals and peers from different regions, expanding their professional connections and potential collaborations. A small group of scholars will be traveling to Long Beach, CA to present their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) April 10th - April 13th: 

Research Title:

Breaking the Mold: Disrupting the Dominant Narrative as First-Generation College Students
Emily C. Le, Ilse N. Lopez, Viridiana Holguin Solorio
F-SMP scholars presenting research
F-SMP scholar Ilse N. Lopez, Emily C. Le, and Viridiana Holguin Solorio presenting research at S³

Breaking Barriers, Building Aspirations

Congratulations to all scholars who showcased their research! Your dedication & hard work have inspired us all.

Under the guidance of Dr. Cynthia Park and the F-SMP Guidance Team comprised of Valeria Reese, Alexandra García, and Reychel Joy Robles, and their assigned faculty mentors, scholars embark on a journey to shape the future of research and innovation. We extend our sincere gratitude to Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Jose Preciado and the office of Faculty Advancement and Student Success for providing access and resources essential for conducting this research.