May the 4th Be With You

Still looking for an REU?? REU: IDEA Incubator for porous materials – University of Kansas is Now Recruiting!! 

REU: IDEA Incubator for porous materials – University of Kansas

The IDEA Incubator is an exciting program that seeks to nurture innovations in porous materials by ‘Integrating Discovery, Engineering and Art’ (IDEA). Students will participate in ‘unseminars’ designed to improve scientific communication to a wide range of audiences through art. Workshops will bridge engineering and art through a variety of forms such as print screening, drawings, storyboards, and more. These sessions will build student confidence and enhance their public speaking skills. The education component of this REU utilizes art as a tool to help students contextualize their research projects with a sense of scale.

The program strongly encourages students from minority serving institutions and community colleges to apply.  Women, minorities, and students with disabilities are also encouraged to apply. The University of Kansas is an equal opportunity institution, and our Academic Achievement and Access Center is dedicated to providing necessary services for individuals with special needs.

Levels: Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior (not Graduating)
Minimum GPA: 2.6
Citizenship Requirements: US Citizens, Permanent Residents
Deadline to Apply: May 9, 2023


May the 4th Be With You

Last Saturday a friend texted me and said, “we’re going to the movies at 6 pm.  “Okay,” I texted back. After working three weekends in a row delirium had finally set in, however, I was feeling spontaneous and the thought of a movie was appealing.  We bought our popcorn and as we sat in the theater it dawned on me I had no idea what movie we were seeing.  “What are we watching?” I said.
“It’s a surprise,” was his response. Then without any further ado I saw on the big screen the iconic blue text “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..”
“Star Wars!” I shouted much to the chagrin of my fellow moviegoers.
“Return of the Jedi.” he clarified.  I was giddy!!

I love the Star Wars movies and if you do too then you know that today is a very special day. I’d like to celebrate Star Wars Day with some classic quotes from the film and how they might be relevant to you as a student. 


“Your lack of faith disturbs me.”
Who said it: Darth Vader in “A New Hope” (1977). 

Like Darth Vader I generally always wear black but this isn’t about me, this is about you. It’s May and you’re worried you haven’t landed an REU just yet and you’re beginning to lose faith. See announcement above.  University of Kansas is actively recruiting NOW so apply.  Also follow us on INSTAGRAM. Programs email us all the time we post on our site and on instagram.  Do not lose faith!   


“Compassion, Which I Would Define as Unconditional Love, Is Essential to a Jedi’s Life.”
Who said it? Anakin Sywalker “Attack of the Clones” (2022)

Have a little compassion.  Even if you don’t mean it snarky comments like, ‘What you didn’t learn in high school?’ exude a lack of compassion.  If someone is asking a question they are trying to understand and thus trying to learn, isn’t that the point?  Whether you are in class, in a study group, or in the lab everyone at some point has experienced imposter syndrome, be like a Jedi and have some compassion. In other words don’t be a “half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” 


“I have a very bad feeling about this.”
Who said it? Han Solo “A New Hope” (1977)

When someone looks at your class schedule and says something like this, take it to heart. Chances are they aren’t doubting your capabilities, instead they are likely trying to convey that you have a packed schedule which likely doesn’t give you much time for self-care which is essential to learning.  My philosophy has always been “under commit and overdeliver” for a reason. 


“No One’s Ever Really Gone.”

Who said it? Luke Skywalker “The Last Jedi” (2017)

College is a series of goodbyes all along the way.  Maybe you’re graduating and are sad you’re not going to see your college friends.  Maybe you’re leaving for an internship or REU this summer.  Every single person in your life who makes an imprint is never really gone.  Chances these special friendships brought out the best in you.  Maybe you had a professor or a mentor who really inspired you even if you won’t see them regularly like you once did, their teachings and what they brought out in you will always be and thus as Luke said, “No one’s ever really gone.”

“Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”

Who said it? Obi-Wan Kenobi “A New Hope” (1977) 

Long ago in a galaxy not so far away  I told someone I wanted to create REU Finder they told me it was a terrible idea.  They said,” No one’s going to use it. They already have websites like that. It’s a waste of your time.” My analytics would suggest otherwise.  Have you ever had someone doubt you?  When you don’t have a strong support system you must make it your goal to find one. This is paramount and in the event that you don’t have one let me tell you, you are capable and you will achieve your goals.  Maybe the path will be bumpy and maybe the path will take long but nevertheless you will accomplish what you set out to do.  I did and I am glad I didn’t listen to naysayers.

There are so many opportunities to pursue (See list below).
I hope you apply to these and today and everyday “May the Force Be With You.” 

The Apple Pathways Academy is a community of learning and discovery targeting high-performing Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous sophomores majoring in computer science and engineering. Deadline to Apply is May 19th

Academy participants or “Pathfinders” receive the following:

  • Renewable scholarship support ($15,000 per year, up to three years)
  • Intensive project-based learning opportunities with Apple experts
  • All-expense paid participation in an annual development conference
  • Virtual chats, panels, workshops and trainings with Apple employees
  • Apple products to increase digital literacy and enhance success in the classroom.

Google is providing scholarships for students to attend conferences. 

The following travel scholarships are due July 6, 2023 

Whether you are participating in a summer internship or a summer research experience preparation is key.
REU Finder is excited to present two upcoming webinars that will help you optimize your summer experience.  You are welcome to attend either or both.   

Rockin’ Your Internship with Marvin Lopez
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm  (PST)

Interning this summer?  Wondering how to have a successful industry internship? Whether it’s in-person, virtual or hybrid please join us for this informative and engaging workshop hosted by an internship guru.  REU Finder is excited to welcome Marvin Lopez.

Marvin Lopez is Director of Programs for UC Berkeley’s Engineering Student Services. Prior to his current role at Berkeley Marvin has managed a number of global internship programs and will share with you his insights on how to rock your internship.


Optimize Your Upcoming REU Experience
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm  (PST)

Summer is finally here and after months of applying it’s time to begin your summer undergraduate research experience.). Nervous? Excited?  Not sure what to expect?  Join Tiffany Reardon, founder of REUFinder, as she gives tips and guidance on making the most out of your upcoming REU.  

Tiffany Reardon is the founder of REU Finder and Associate Director of Engineering Excellence Programs for UC Berkeley.  Tiffany’s experience in helping undergraduates identify and prepare for research experiences spans over twenty years. She’ll share her advice and expertise.

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