What is Driven to Discover?

The signs are popping up everywhere. “What is my dog thinking? Will we ever find a cure for AIDS? Where will the penguins go when the icebergs melt?” What does all of this mean? The University has branded itself as “Driven to Discover” in hopes of creating a more unified understanding and appreciation for research initiatives.

The effort is one that Big Ten universities are effecting to show off what is unique and special about their institution.

Our University hopes to further enforce the relationship that citizens of the state, undergraduates, graduate students and the faculty and staff have in common – the discovery of new ideas and the formulation of new answers.

While brainstorming a way to brand the University, it was found that people understand that they can get a good education here but don’t completely see how the research initiatives impact their own lives. This in turn is intended to bring research initiatives to a more real level that encompasses the entire complexity of the institution as well as the state it serves.

While the Driven to Discover campaign is a step toward creating a more cohesive University, there is still more that can be done to make undergraduates feel more included in the research initiatives we all hear so much about. One way this can be achieved is through professor encouragement. Often assignments for classes simply ask students to regurgitate what they are reading in their textbooks or are asking students to “think critically” about a particular something or another.

However, asking students to go beyond their textbooks and lectures in a direction that they are personally interested in will indeed drive them to discover. In their major classes, undergraduate students should be encouraged to reach outside their course materials and really learn something about something that they care about. Heck, this might even push more students through graduation ceremonies.

The Driven to Discover campaign is already here and will reach far into the future. The University community has no choice but to accept it and allow it, just maybe, to encourage some curiosities.