Utree, which stands for Undergraduate Teaching and Research Experiences in Engineering, has the goal of fostering communication skills and enriching research experiences among undergraduates in the College of Engineering at Penn State. Utree fosters communication skills by having undergraduate mentors teach class periods and provide consultations on specific skills: making effective presentations, working in teams, and writing correspondence. Utree enriches research experiences by running workshops for undergraduate engineers on how to obtain research experiences, how to succeed in those experiences, and how to leverage those experiences in graduate fellowship applications.
Sponsored by Penn State’s Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, Utree recruits talented engineering undergraduates from CAS 100A for Engineers to become mentors. These mentors then go through training to teach the special class periods. In addition, the mentors gain valuable experience in undergraduate research positions. In essence, the Utree experience puts the mentors in position to succeed in graduate school.