News Release icon Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150


Starting Early 

Maksim Papenkov learned from his professors the value of learning to conduct research while still an undergraduate. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 3, 2017) – Maksim Papenkov, a junior, encourages students to check out the Undergraduate Research Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the Campus Center Ballroom.

“I would tell freshmen that it’s best to start early, and that networking is important,” said Papenkov, an economics and mathematics major from Bethlehem, N.Y. “The undergraduate fair is great, because there’s representation from every major, and students will find that they’re not limited to doing research through one department.”

The fair, which will be from 4 to 6 p.m., has grown from 15-20 faculty last year to representation from more than 40 departments this year. Faculty use the fair as a recruiting tool for attracting research assistants. Papenkov has already been a research assistant twice.

The fair gives freshmen, sophomores and transfer students a chance to ask, ‘What is research?’ and to envision the kind of research they would like to conduct. It is open to all undergraduates.

It gives students the chance to talk to representatives from academic departments, research centers, institutes and labs about research in their area and about potential research positions.

Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Jeanette Altarriba said the fair is the office’s premiere event of the fall semester.

“We are thrilled that this year we have been able to expand upon our usual diverse listing of areas on our campus,” Altarriba said. “This helps to further highlight that research extends across all disciplines, including options within anthropology, political science, economics, art, biology and beyond. The expansive offerings available to our students are a testament to the investment of our faculty in providing our students with experiences that challenge them to achieve success both in and out of the classroom.”

Papenkov knew early on he wanted to pursue a Ph.D. in economics. His professors discussed with him the importance of doing research while still an undergraduate.

His first research opportunity was with economics lecturer Lewis Segal in the first half of sophomore year. The experience gave Papenkov the opportunity to apply the concepts he had been learning to projects outside the classroom.

This semester, Papenkov is preparing to begin his honors thesis on topics in financial economics. In the School of Public Health, where he conducts research with Associate Professor Yuchi Young, he is working on research related to the care of patients who have dementia, as well as the work-related injury crisis for direct care workers.

While he “still has a lot of school left,” Papenkov would like to pursue a career in research, in the field of financial economics, probably in the private sector.

For more information, or, for leads on engaging in undergraduate research opportunities, contact

RSS Link For more news, subscribe to UAlbany's RSS headline feeds

About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.