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Council on Undergraduate Research Announces Geosciences Mentor Award Winner

Washington, D.C.-The Geosciences division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) annually recognizes an individual with the Geosciences Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. The awardee is an individual who serves as a role model for productive and transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships and for maintaining a sustained and innovative approach to the enterprise of undergraduate research. CUR is pleased to announce Mary M. MacLaughlin, professor of geological engineering at Montana Tech of The University of Montana, the 2014 recipient. The award will be formally presented at the Geological Society of America Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia in October.
 
Mary MacLaughlin has mentored 37 undergraduates in six different geoscience related disciplines in rock mechanics research. A successful grant-writer, she has established a $1M laboratory. She mentors her students through complicated experiments, detailed measurements, and the presentation and publication of research outcomes. Often these collaborations are with multiple research institutions. One student explained that she saw each student "as a capable researcher who could produce significant and impactful results." Described as a "fierce advocate for training women for careers in the STEM disciplines," by a nominator, half of MacLaughlin’s students have been female, a remarkable accomplishment in the field of geological engineering.
 
MacLaughlin’s impact reaches beyond the students in her own research lab. As the chair of Montana Tech’s Undergraduate Research Program, she successfully shepherds the program through difficult funding circumstances while instituting new programs for freshmen and sophomore students and advanced students. Known as an ‘evangelist’ for undergraduate research, she also mentors faculty on developing their own successful undergraduate research programs.
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Council on Undergraduate Research: The Council on Undergraduate Research (www.cur.org) supports and facilitates high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Over 700 institutions and 10,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.
 

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