Furman’s Shields Selected as 2022 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee

March 31, 2022 08:45 AM

shieldsDr. George Shields, professor of Chemistry at Furman University, has been selected as the 2022 Council on Undergraduate Research – Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee. The award consists of a plaque and $5,000 for the awardee’s research program.

Shields has been recognized for his influential mentoring abilities. In fact, four students under the chemistry professor's guidance have won Fulbright awards and 13 became Goldwater Scholars, including five at Furman University, three of which we announced in 2021. 

“George is a remarkable mentor,” said Furman University President Elizabeth Davis. “He guides his students as they develop a deep understanding of the field of chemistry and the nuances of life. He gives them a chance to find themselves and identify future careers in science. Furman is very proud to have him on our faculty.”

“Dr. Shields is an amazing mentor,” said John Mateja, President of the Goldwater Scholarship Foundation.  “Since 1989 he has mentored 133 undergraduates.  His mentees have received 37 national awards, including 12 Goldwater scholarships; published in leading journals like the Journal of the American Chemical Society, including as first authors; and 90% have gone on to graduate school or professional programs,” Mateja went on to say.  “What is truly exceptional about George is that in addition to significantly changing the undergraduate research opportunities at the five institutions he has held faculty and administrative positions (Lake Forest College, Hamilton College, Armstrong State University, Bucknell University, and Furman University), he has had a major national impact by mentoring faculty through a consortium he created of computational chemists at primarily undergraduate institutions.  In doing so, he has impacted the lives of countless undergraduates, including many students of color, students who are first-generation college, and female students.”

“The award is just a recognition of the fact that thereve been lots of good students whove come through my lab, who started research early and were able to demonstrate their research aptitude as well as their high grades in order to be competitive for this fellowship,” Shields said.

Shields will be celebrated virtually at the upcoming CUR Spring Celebration on April 21, 2022, from 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET. This celebration is open to the undergraduate research community. You can RSVP here


Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is an organization of individual, institutional, and affiliate members from around the world that share a focus on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity opportunities for faculty and students. More than 700 institutions and more than 13,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that faculty members enhance their teaching and contribution to society by remaining active in research and by involving undergraduates in research, and that students engaged in undergraduate research succeed in their studies and professional advancement.

Furman University is a private, undergraduate liberal arts and sciences university of 2,600 students in Greenville, South Carolina. The university is noted for its rigorous academic program and strong faculty, and its 750-acre campus is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful in the nation. At the heart of the university’s academic experience is The Furman Advantage, a strategic plan that combines learning with immersive experiences outside the classroom, creating a personalized pathway that prepares students for lives of purpose, successful careers and community benefit.


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