Data Club highlights undergraduate research opportunities at Oglethorpe

Earlier this year, three Oglethorpe students with the help of Dr. Allison Roessler formed Data Club, a student organization dedicated to exposing Oglethorpe students to scientific research opportunities.

Data Club was founded by Benton Cogar ’24, Mackenzie Roberson ’24 and Jaely Chavez ’24, with the goal of connecting students to undergraduate research opportunities at OU and creating a space outside the classroom where students can present their research to each other. 

Sydney Trammell '24 and Josh Escobar '24 presenting on the anatomy of a bird's wing.

Sydney Trammell ’24 and Josh Escobar ’24 share their summer research experience in the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program.

The club has already hosted several events during the fall semester that have allowed students to present their summer research experiences with faculty and students in a more informal setting.

Most recently, the club held a presentation session on ecosystem preservation initiatives on campus, including the Oglethorpe Stream Monitoring program and Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS).

“Students should join Data Club to engage with the research occurring on campus with hopes to get involved by pursuing their own novel research interests,” said Roberson, who serves as the club’s vice president.

Since the start of the year, the group has grown significantly with support from a Strategic Initiatives Grant, Division III faculty, and Interim President Dr. Kathryn McClymond.

Mackenzie Roberson sharing a chart that includes the temperature data for two Oglethorpe streams.

Mackenzie Roberson ’24 presents on the Oglethorpe Stream Monitoring program.

“Many of these people have echoed to us how great of an opportunity Data Club has been for Oglethorpe students, and this has encouraged us to grow,” shared Chavez and Cogar.

The club has several speaker events and information sessions planned for the rest of the year, as well as an independent study symposium. They also hope to inform students about Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and on-campus summer research opportunities.

“Data Club’s role in supporting and elevating the undergraduate student research that our students are participating in at Oglethorpe and beyond is critical,” said Roessler, who is serving as Data Club’s advisor . “It’s become a venue where first- and second-year students can see the great variety of ways they can get involved in research and learn from more experienced students how to get there.”


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