CUR Chemistry Division Selects 2021 Outstanding Mentorship Awardees

The CUR Chemistry Division has announced the 2021 recipients of its Outstanding Mentorship Award, which recognizes excellence in mentoring of undergraduate researchers:

  • Tarek Abdel-Fattah (Christopher Newport University)
  • Fadi Bou-Abdallah (SUNY Potsdam)
  • Loretta Jackson-Hayes (Rhodes College)

Tarek Abdel-Fattah is the Lawrence J. Sacks Endowed Professor of Chemistry at Christopher Newport University (CNU) and the CNU director of the Applied Research Center at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. He earned his BS and MS degrees in chemistry from Alexandria University in Egypt and his PhD degree in inorganic and materials chemistry from Northeastern University. His research focuses on nanochemistry and nanomaterials science. Enthusiastic about undergraduate research collaborations and mentorship, Abdel-Fattah has coauthored 40 papers with undergraduate students.

Fadi Bou-Abdallah is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York at Potsdam. He earned an MS in chemistry from the Lebanese University in Lebanon and a PhD in biophysical chemistry from the University of Paris 7 in France. His research focuses on structure-function relationships of major iron transport and storage proteins, as well as the role of iron in health and disease. Bou-Abdallah has mentored approximately 40 undergraduate students, coauthoring 26 papers with undergraduates and promoting an environment that encourages the participation, professional development, and graduation of underrepresented students.

Loretta Jackson-Hayes is James H. Daughdrill Professor in the Natural Sciences, professor of chemistry, and chair of the Department of Chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis. She earned her BS in chemistry from Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS, and her PhD in pharmacology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Her research focuses on investigating regulatory mechanisms of eukaryotic gene expression. Fostering scaffolded undergraduate research experiences and continual professional development for diverse students, Jackson-Hayes has coauthored more than 28 publications with undergraduates. 

The Outstanding Mentorship Awards of CUR’s Chemistry Division honor exceptional mentoring and advising by higher education faculty across all subdisciplines of chemistry. Each award consists of a $500 cash prize to the recipient, a certificate of recognition, a one-year individual membership to CUR funded by the Chemistry Division, and a letter of commendation from CUR sent to the recipient’s institution.

Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) focuses on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity. Among the many activities and networking opportunities that CUR provides, the organization also offers support for the professional growth of faculty and administrators through expert-designed institutes, conferences, and a wide-range of volunteer positions. The CUR community, made up of nearly 700 institutions and 13,000 individuals, continues to provide a platform for discussion and other resources related to mentoring, connecting, and creating relationships centered around undergraduate research. CUR’s advocacy efforts are also a large portion of its work as they strive to strengthen support for undergraduate research. Its continued growth in connections with representatives, private foundations, government agencies, and campuses world-wide provides value to its members and gives voice to undergraduate research. CUR is committed to inclusivity and diversity in all of its activities and our community.

CUR focuses on giving a voice to undergraduate research with learning through doing. It provides connections to a multitude of campuses and government agencies, all while promoting networking and professional growth to its community.