Dr. Jannon Fuchs, professor in the University of North Texas’s (UNT) Department of Biological Sciences, has been selected as the 2023 Council on Undergraduate Research – Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee. The award gifts $5,000 for the awardee’s undergraduate research program.
Fuchs believes that her calling was mentoring undergraduate researchers. She believes that each student brings a unique constellation of backgrounds, goals, abilities, and personalities to the table. It is a mentor’s job to get in tune with each student’s individuality to establish rapport and to make the journey of discovery engaging. Thus, within her 38 years as a faculty member, Fuchs has mentored over 184 students of which 10 became Goldwater Scholars, including seven that have based their research essays on work they did in her laboratory.
“Dr. Jannon Fuchs, who has helped cultivate UNT Goldwater Scholars for three decades, has brought immense recognition to the University of North Texas via her stature as the 2023-2024 CUR-Goldwater Faculty Mentor of the Year,” explained James Duban, associate dean for research and national scholarships. “Since UNT is a Carnegie R-1 university, Dr. Fuchs’ distinction speaks volumes about the generosity of accomplished UNT faculty members who introduce undergraduates to the craft of research while becoming their faculty champions. The outcomes have major implications for our students’ prospects of making significant contributions to their fields of research and to earning paid-for postgraduate admissions.”
According to Glênisson de Oliveira, dean of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at UNT, “Dr. Fuchs clearly merited that highly competitive award – her lab alone has produced seven Goldwater Award winners, which is more than most universities ever get. We boast to our prospective students that our faculty serve as champions for our students, and Jannon is a prime example of a faculty champion, who year after year guides a large number of students through successful contributive research projects.”
Lindsay Currie, executive officer of CUR, explained, “Dr. Fuchs modelled exemplary dedication to advancing undergraduate research through mentoring. With her background, her mentoring style, and her overall outlook, Dr. Fuchs is the definition of a Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor, and we are excited to honor her as the 2023 recipient.”
Throughout her professional career, mentoring undergraduates has clearly been a calling and a passion for Dr. Jannon Fuchs,” said John Mateja, president of the Goldwater Scholarship Foundation. “While we celebrate her skill as a laboratory mentor and teacher, we must not overlook the fact that she supports her students and continues to change their lives long after they have left the University of North Texas,” Mateja went on to say. As one of her students explained, “At every stage of my career – from undergraduate to MD to HHMI medical scholar to PhD, – Dr. Fuchs has been a tireless supporter, giving advice and writing letters of support.” “The Goldwater Foundation is pleased to be partnering with CUR to celebrate the kind of excellence that Dr. Fuchs exhibits,” Mateja said.
“The CUR-Goldwater Scholars Program highlights the importance of mentoring students during their formative years as they develop talents, discover passions, and make life-changing decisions. Today’s undergraduate researchers will be tomorrow’s problem-solvers in an increasingly complex and precarious world. It takes a village, and this Award is a tribute to the mentors, students, colleagues, institutions, and other villagers who continue to inspire my journey,” stated Fuchs.