UNT’s Fuchs Selected as 2023 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee

UNT’s Fuchs Selected as 2023 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee

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.

CUR Names Rhodes College’s Stoddard as Silvia Ronco Innovative Mentor Awardee

CUR Names Rhodes College’s Stoddard as Silvia Ronco Innovative Mentor Awardee

May 24, 2023 09:00 AM

Dr. Shana Stoddard, associate professor of chemistry at Rhodes College in Tennessee, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Council on Undergraduate Research’s (CUR) Silvia Ronco Innovative Mentor Award. This award, established in February 2022 by a gift from Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), is in honor of CUR’s past president and current RCSA Senior Program Director, Silvia Ronco. The Silvia Ronco Innovative Mentor Award recognizes a tenure-track faculty member within ten years of their first faculty appointment who demonstrates success in chemical sciences and whose mentoring practices have supported undergraduate research.

“I really feel that research is a way of life that allows scholars to be able to embark upon a journey that can bring good to the world. I most enjoy that journey when I have students by my side,” said Stoddard. “The opportunity to mentor students and to teach them that it is the scientist who is the connection between science and society is a truly rewarding experience. This award allows me to continue to reflect on how the platform of being a teacher-scholar-mentor-leader has been impactful and affirms the work we do at primarily undergraduate institutions in investing in students to become the world’s next generation of scholars.”

Stoddard, who received her Bachelor of Science in chemistry at Prairie View A&M University and a doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry at The University of Mississippi, continued on with postdoctoral work at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Amongst the many achievements and awards Stoddard has received in her career, in the last two years, she has been awarded CUR’s Health Sciences Divisional Mentor Award in 2021 and the Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teacher Award presented by the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers in 2022.

Stoddard is the founding director of The STEM Cohort Mentoring Program at Rhodes, which she established in 2017. Many scholars from the program go on to pursue graduate degrees in STEM. Currently, 32 scholars have been accepted into 67 STEM graduate and/or professional programs with 36 program acceptances being at the doctoral level from the first three graduating cohorts (Rhodes Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023).

Lindsay Currie, CUR’s executive officer commented, “Dr. Shana Stoddard’s innovative mentoring work and drive in the chemical sciences should be viewed as a model for sharing passion in research and excelling in mentoring undergraduate researchers. Her dedication to encouraging success among her students is inspiring and provides hope for the future. This award is a testament to the hard work and determination Dr. Stoddard has put forth in her career and it is an honor to welcome her as a Silvia Ronco Innovative Mentor Awardee.”

Stoddard will be recognized at CUR’s upcoming Award Celebration on June 13, 2023. You can RSVP to the award celebration here.  

Grinnell College’s Professor Garrison Selected as 2023 CURAH Awardee

Grinnell College’s Professor Garrison Selected as 2023 CURAH Awardee

Dr. John Garrison, professor of English at Grinnell College in Iowa, has been selected as the 2023 Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) – Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Awardee.

Garrison has mentored a considerable number of undergraduate research students both in his classroom and through independent research projects. Often incorporating on-campus activities with more hands-on, course-embedded research travel, Garrison finds it deeply rewarding to encourage students’ growth through mentorship and to enhance his own understanding of the world through co-exploration of research topics. He has mentored four fellows in the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Program, has six publications with students, and continues to look for innovative ways to involve students in research. He actively encourages his students to share their own single-authored research from their mentored experience. Many have presented their findings at conferences such as those sponsored by the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, Midwest Modern Language Association, Shakespeare Association of America, University of Chicago, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

“I was so thrilled to receive news of the award. Encouraging undergraduates to engage in humanities research has long been a passion of mine, not only because it helps them build essential skills but also because it drives a deeper understanding of literary texts and, ultimately, of themselves. Particularly important to me has been co-publishing with students, which has allowed them to advocate for new approaches to researching questions in the humanities which they feel are especially intriguing or urgent. Receiving the award this year inspires me to think even more creatively and more inclusively as I meet future students,” said John Garrison, professor of English and this year’s award winner. 

“Professor Garrison is a committed, creative, and highly successful mentor of undergraduate students who is a model for teacher-scholars and mentors. His unique approach of mentoring students to become advocates and teachers themselves showcases his commitment to research innovation in the humanities. His impactful mentorship and collaborative work with students have resulted in publications and awards. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate him on receiving the prestigious 2023 Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Award from CUR,” said Beronda Montgomery, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. 

Lindsay Currie, CUR’s executive officer stated, “Dr. Garrison’s commitment to mentoring undergraduates with unique approaches to research in the humanities should be celebrated. We are excited to acknowledge his contributions to the field and the work he has done to inspire the next generation.”

The CUR-Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Award was established in 2018 through an endowed gift by 2012 CUR Fellow Joyce Kinkead (Utah State University) to nurture undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry in arts and humanities disciplines. Garrison was honored at the June 13, 2023, CUR Award Celebration. You can watch his acceptance speech here.

Spring 2023 CUR Psychology Division Newsletter

Spring 2023 CUR Psychology Division Newsletter