Professor Stephanie Reich’s undergraduate research experience was a major factor in her decision to attend graduate school and she treasures the opportunity to provide the same inspiration to the students she mentors. She looks for creative, motivated students and works with them closely throughout their projects. Professor Reich also uses the time with her students to answer questions and discuss their career goals. She considers research to be a valuable component of an undergraduate education and enjoys the chance she has to be a part of it. UROP is pleased to recognize Professor Reich for the enthusiasm and support she brings to mentoring undergraduate researchers at UC Irvine.

1. How did you develop an interest in mentoring undergraduate research or creative projects, and what type of projects have you directed?

When I was an undergraduate, I had a work-study job doing research. It was that experience that inspired me to go to graduate school. I enjoy introducing undergraduates to research and hope that the experience will inspire them as well. As a UROP mentor, I have helped students with a variety of projects from exploring aggressive and prosocial behaviors in toddlers to identifying the influence of prenatal mood on infant health to understanding how workplace friendships increase job satisfaction.

2. What do you look for and what are your expectations of undergraduates you select to conduct research under your guidance?

I expect students to be mature, motivated, reliable, and creative. When a student approaches me with a research idea, I help them cultivate it into manageable study. However, the study is theirs and they need to be excited and committed to the project.

3. Describe your level of engagement and style in mentoring undergraduates.

I am a very hands-on mentor. I meet with students regularly and help with the study design, IRB approval, recruitment, data collection, cleaning, and analysis, and dissemination. In addition to talking about the project, I often offer advice and support with their career goals. Almost all of my UROP mentees have gone to graduate school after graduating from UCI.

4. In your experience, how have your students improved or benefited as a result of their undergraduate research experience?

UROP is an invaluable experience for students! They learn the ins and outs of research, build their resume for graduate school (often with conference presentations and publications), and contribute knowledge to important areas. It is a wonderful opportunity for students’ education.

5. What have you learned or benefited from guiding undergraduate research or creative projects?

UROP projects allow me to work more directly with students as well as explore areas I may not have studied. I benefit from students’ enthusiasm, curiosity, and creativity.

6. What recommendations and advice would you give students embarking on undergraduate research or creative projects?

Pick a topic you are really interested in and carve out a manageable piece. Also, set your goal to be higher than just presenting at the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium. Send it to a national conference and/or submit to a journal. Students often complete wonderful projects that would be a contribution to the field, if only they would share them.

Research Interests: Socio-emotional Development, Parent-child Interactions, Peer Networks, Social Affordances of Technology

Faculty Profile:


Past Faculty Mentors of the Month

Dec. '14 Emiliana Borrelli
Nov. '14 Joel Veenstra
Oct. '14 Jonathan Alexander
Sep. '14 Leslie M. Thompson
Aug. '14 Jonathan R.T. Lakey
Jul. '14 Diego Rosso
Jun. '14 James Kyung-Jin Lee
May. '14 Lisa Pearl
Apr. '14 Jayne Elizabeth Lewis
Mar. '14 Donald Jay Patterson
Feb. '14 Dritan Agalliu
Jan. '14 Stephanie Reich