The Research Rodeo

Aurod Ounsinegad bringing research to life

The Research Rodeo is a Student Research Association (SRA) event being held on April 24. The founder and current president of SRA is Aurod Ounsinegad, and he has many things in store for any student that would like to present their research. 


Aurod Ousinegad is a senior mathematics major with a minor in biology and a double concentration in data analysis and biomathematics at Tarleton State University. Throughout his time at Tarleton State, he has joined many organizations ranging from honor societies, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Math Club, and Student Government Association (SGA). He has held many positions in those organizations, such as being president for SRA and was vice president of University Relations for SGA in 2021-22. 


“Without these experiences I do not believe I would be as successful as I have been at creating a foundation for the SRA as well as the Research Rodeo Symposium,” Ousinegad stated in a written email. 


Ousinegad has had many experiences at Tarleton State with staff, faculty, and students from across campus that have made an impact in his life. During his time here, he was welcomed on campus before he even decided to come here. 


“I thought that the environment and the welcoming was super important since I was leaving home to come to some place where I knew no one,” Ousinegad stated. 


Ousinegad has been doing research consecutively since January 2020 and it has been a great experience for him so far. He has worked with faculty and staff from across campus such as his main research mentors, Dr. Christopher Mitchell and Scott Cook, and working with the Tarleton State Executive Cabinet and the President, James Hurley. Ousinegad was able to do 10 research projects, both internally with faculty and staff as well as externally with Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 


“I was able to partake in all of these research experiences because of one research professor who opened my eyes and ears to the world of research, Dr. Bryant Wyatt,” Ousinegad stated. 


Aurod believes that the faculty and staff within the Department of Mathematics is by far his favorite and the best department on campus. With all the experiences he has had with other departments, he felt that the Department of Mathematics has trumped any other department. He was able to start his journey as an undergraduate research student due to the encouragement and help of only a few professors within the math department. 


Sadly, devastation arises knowing that Ousinegad will be leaving Tarleton State University as he accepted a Ph.D. offer in Biomedical Data Science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Starting August 2023, Ousinegad will be calling Madison his new home for the next five to six years. However, that will not stop Ousinegad from coming back to visit Tarleton State and all of the faculty and staff who have made an impact on his life a few times each year due to the sheer impact they have had on his future endeavors. 


“As sad as I am to leave Tarleton, I am simultaneously ready to take on the next steps of my educational journey,” Ousinegad stated.


Aurod believes that the future generations of leadership within the SRA will continue to uphold the values and standards that have been set for the organization. He hopes to come back one day to see the sheer growth that the SRA has had over the years. The last final thing that Ousinegad had planned was the Research Rodeo. 


The Research Rodeo will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 7 p.m.. It is free for undergraduate and graduate students who would want to present their research symposium. The reason SRA started hosting the symposium last year was for students to have an opportunity to present their research in any format they would like. It helps to present to a larger audience without having to leave Tarleton State to gain more public speaking experience as well as to have an opportunity to network with other students, faculty, and staff at the event. 


Students can expect to see a few things at the Research Rodeo. It will start off within the first hour of the symposium with a guest speaker, Dr. Bill Hodges, a retired anesthesiologist who currently lives in Stephenville. Afterwards, there will be a student oral presentation in the Thompson Student Center (TSC) 27, 130, and 219. Then, the poster presentation will be held in the TSC ballrooms from 2-5 p.m. A workshop will be held from 5-6 p.m. on how to protect intellectual property when conducting research and finally, a Q&A panel composed of four faculty and staff members from Tarleton State University who will answer any questions students may have about research, professionalism, planning for their career field, and more. The student research will be showcased at the Research Rodeo from every college across campus and will be showcased by undergraduate and graduate students of all levels. Therefore, there will be a great diversity in the types of presentations as well as diversity in the presenter’s backgrounds as well.

So, do not miss out on a great opportunity of showing your own research or even just supporting a friend! Good luck to Aurod Ousinegad and the rest of his journey in Wisconsin! If you have any questions or regards of the Student Research Association, they can be contacted at [email protected] or on Instagram @tarletonsra.