Undergraduate Research Program

Min Su Kim

Min Su Smiling in front of a brushMajors: Law, Societies, and Justice; Sociology; Accounting
Mentor: Tony Lucero, International Studies/Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Contact: minsukim@uw.edu

Current research project: Human Rights in Latin America


Min Su is a senior with a double degree in Business Administration (Accounting) and the College of Arts and Sciences (Law, Societies, and Justice; Sociology). She is interested in the multidisciplinary intersection between macro-level social institutions, such as law, economics, and society. Since March of 2018, she has been involved as a coordinator for a research group with the Latin America and Caribbean Studies department at the University of Washington. For the 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium, this ongoing group uncovered how contemporary immigration enforcement restricts, skews, and misrepresents information regarding immigration.

Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
Immigration issues have become prominent within today’s media, but there are several gaps in the types of information that the media has shared. Based on this observation, we began to wonder why it was so difficult to find reliable information on immigration detention and deportation and why the federal government has refused to comply with requests for information. Through interviews with subject experts and federal representatives, my research group developed a video that outlined how and why information about immigration has been restricted, which helps us to better understand how immigration and the importance of transparency about such important topics fit into the media landscape.


When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I first got involved in undergraduate research during the winter quarter of my freshman year. Although I was hesitant about reaching out because I had no formal research experience, my peers and professors reminded me that research is an important learning experience to have. Because of their advice, I accessed the URP database, and contacted the PI of a study on how fixed and growth mindsets are developed through “gifted” programs. Through that experience, I learned that research is truly something that you learn along the way, and no one is expected to be an expert before they begin. Since my first research experience, I have reached out to professors about research, and have even participated in SIAH (the Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities), which has helped me to develop and pursue my own research projects!


What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
There are plenty of opportunities for research at the University of Washington! Regardless of your major or class standing, you will find a position perfect for you if you simply reach out. PI’s, professors, graduate students, and the Undergraduate Research Program are there to mentor you, connect you to resources, and are overall more than willing to teach you the necessary skills to set you up for success in research.