CUR’s Chemistry Division Selects 2020 Outstanding Mentorship Awardees

The CUR Chemistry Division has announced the 2020 recipients of its Outstanding Mentorship Award, which recognizes excellence in mentoring of undergraduate researchers:

•    Geneive Henry, Susquehanna University
•    James A. Phillips, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
•    Aimée Tomlinson, University of North Georgia

Geneive Henry is Charles B. Degenstein Professor of Chemistry and head of the Department of Chemistry at Susquehanna University. She earned her BS in chemistry with first-class honors and her PhD in organic chemistry at the University of the West Indies. Henry focuses her research projects on producing derivatives of essential oil components that have anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties and has mentored more than 50 students in biochemistry, biology, biomedical sciences, and chemistry. She also has been involved in efforts to mentor students and faculty from underrepresented groups as well as nurture cross-disciplinary and interuniversity collaborations.

James A. Phillips is professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He earned his BA in chemistry at Middlebury College (graduating cum laude) and his PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Phillips’s research examines condensed-phase effects on the structural properties of molecular complexes. His mentoring efforts have involved research with 45 undergraduates, including at-risk and nontraditional students; development of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in partnership with early-career colleagues; and participation in the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational Chemistry (MERCURY). He has served as a councilor in CUR’s Chemistry Division and as a member of the NCUR Oversight Committee.

Aimée Tomlinson is professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of North Georgia. She earned her BS in mathematics and her BS in chemistry at Purdue University, and her PhD in theoretical/computational chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests involve computational chemical physics and quantum theory. She has mentored more than 40 undergraduate researchers and early-career faculty members, with attention to supporting women in STEM and individuals from the LGBTQ community, and participates in the MERCURY consortium.

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.