Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

Undergraduate research propels Baylor engineering student to graduate school


Baylor has a long-standing commitment to prepare its students for leadership and service in their chosen fields.  For students who aspire to careers in science and technology, participating in independent research under faculty mentorship can be a key component of that preparation. Morgan Goodwin, who received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Baylor this May, says that participating in undergraduate research helped her take the next step toward achieving her career goals.

Morgan Goodwin presents her research poster at the 2013 URSA Scholars Week.

During her time at Baylor, Goodwin worked with Dr. David Jack, an assistant professor in the School of Engineering and Computer Science.  Under Jack’s mentorship, Goodwin worked to develop and improve theoretical and mathematical models to predict the strength of polymer materials like PVC, a topic area that she says interested her because of the possibilities of developing real solutions to tangible engineering problems.

Goodwin presented a research poster at the 2013 URSA Scholars Week and later successfully defended an honors thesis based on her work.  She will begin graduate school in engineering at Duke University in the fall, and says the experience of participating in research helped her to stand out from the crowd when she applied to graduate programs.

“I was accepted to every graduate school I applied to, and my research background was key,” she says.  “Not many undergraduates have that kind of experience, so it definitely made me more competitive.”

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