“SURE” Thing: The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

by · September 12, 2017

Francisco Mojica, second from right, presenting his research
at the conclusion of SURE this summer.

While his counterparts were catching up on sleep and indulging in the latest Netflix show, junior Francisco Mojica was hard at work on the Mount campus this summer participating in one-on-one research through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. We caught up with Francisco to discuss his experience with the program:

“The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is an awesome opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in paid, intensive research over the summer. Students work one-on-one with a faculty member to complete a research project that the two collaborate on over the summer. All majors can participate in SURE, and past projects have included science, education, English, business, math, and more.

This summer, I participated in a project with another student in conjunction with our economics professor, Dr. Hossain. Our research project was to compare the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act. We analyzed how the two programs work, the differences between the two, and how people would be affected by each. Since this topic is part of current events, we were able to view the acts from both an ethical and economic standpoint, which was really interesting.

I learned about the SURE program through my microeconomics class, when Dr. Hossain encouraged us to apply for it in the spring semester, and I’m glad I did. It’s a great resume builder, and you learn a lot. Plus, it’s just a good way further yourself and to meet people. Each year, a few dozen students are selected to participate in the program, and the relationship you develop with faculty during research and on trips we take throughout the summer is invaluable from both an academic and professional standpoint.

Participating in SURE also helped me with my studies in the Actuarial Science program at the Mount. Although I am personally more interested in the home and auto side of actuarial science (as opposed to the other track of life and health insurance), my research in the healthcare industry is beneficial because insurance companies look for their actuary candidates to have a background in both aspects of the field. This also peaked my interest in the health/life side of insurance because I learned about many different aspects of the health care industry that I wouldn’t have known otherwise, which will be useful in my future prospects as an actuary.

Part of the SURE requirement is to present your work to the college at the annual SURE Symposium. This poster presentation allows the college community to see the work you’ve done over the summer, which is pretty cool. Students have also had the opportunity to go to larger conferences at other schools, which just creates a lot of opportunities. I’m really glad that I decided to participate in SURE this year, because it is such a marketable experience and applies to what I’m doing in the future. I highly encourage other students to take advantage of this great opportunity at the Mount.”

Interested in research? Mount Saint Mary College offers vast research experiences for students in every major. Learn more here.


Francisco Mojica, Class of 2019, is a mathematics major with a concentration in actuarial science from New Windsor, N.Y.