Learning Through Research

CUR Speakers Bureau

The CUR Speakers Bureau features diverse speakers and topics. The Bureau provides an opportunity for institutions to host speakers who can talk firsthand about the high-caliber research in several disciplines being conducted at primarily undergraduate research programs. CUR speakers can share insights and excitement with a broad audience, and they provide CUR with yet another way of strengthening science, science education, and other academic disciplines at primarily undergraduate colleges and universities.

Invitations should be extended directly to the individual speakers, and all travel arrangements are to be worked out in advance between the host institution and the invited speaker. Each speaker requires full reimbursement of travel expenses and subsistence. We ask the host institution to confirm arrangements with the speaker in writing, with a copy sent to the CUR National Office.

CUR members interested in participating in CUR’s Speakers Bureau should submit their vita, their e-mail address, and a short biography suitable for use in our Speakers Bureau listing and seminar abstracts.

Any questions should be directed to the CUR National Office at cur@cur.org.

CUR is pleased to provide these names of CUR members who have volunteered to participate in its Speakers Bureau. The CUR National Office has reviewed the basic credentials of the speakers and titles of their talks for appropriateness. However, CUR does not endorse the content of the talks nor do the speakers necessarily represent the views of CUR. Their views are their own.

Mary Mennes Allen

Department of Biological Sciences
Wellesley College
Phone: (781)-283-3068
E-mail: mallen@wellesley.edu

The Joys of Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research as the Best Way to Learn Microbiology

Ancient Microbes Through 21st Century Eyes

Dr. Allen, a past president and one of the first two Fellows of CUR, carries out research on cyanobacterial biochemistry with her undergraduate colleagues. She has been a department chair and serves now as Director of Biological Chemistry, an interdepartmental major. She received the Carski Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching from the American Society for Microbiology and her research has been supported by NSF, NIH and Research Corporation.

George T. Barthalmus

Director, Office of Undergraduate Research
North Carolina State University 412 Clark Hall, Box 7576 Raleigh, NC 27695-7576
Phone: (919) 513-4187
Email: george_barthalmus@ncsu.edu

Creating an Undergraduate Research & Creativity Conference for Your Entire State

Consider creating an all-day research and creativity conference for your state. The model developed for North Carolina will be presented and include details related to leadership, funding, partnering, advanced planning, reporting, the website needs, and more. The State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium supports all 111 institutions of higher learning in North Carolina and it is free to all; over 800 attended in 2009. Locations rotate between public and private institutions; the 6th annual symposium will be November 20, 2010 at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC.

Developing an Undergraduate Research Office and Program at a Large Research University

Undergraduate research has occurred for decades across the campuses of large research universities and small colleges; however, most campuses had developed neither a coordinated, comprehensive program, detailed website, nor a faculty support initiative until the last 10 years. The issues related to faculty contracts, annual faculty activities reports, and support within the promotion and tenure arenas will be discussed.

George T. Barthalmus received a B.S. in Biology at Bloomsburg University (Pa) and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Zoology at the Pennsylvania State University. He joined the Zoology Department at NC State in 1970 and worked through the ranks to Full Professor. In 1994 he joined the Academic Programs Office of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as Assistant Director of Academic Programs. In 1998 he became Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs. Dr. Barthalmus retired after 31 years in June 2001 to become Professor Emeritus of Zoology. In 2002-03 he was invited to serve as Interim Director of the University Honors Program. He then created the Office of Undergraduate Research and serves, to date, as its director within the Division of Undergraduate Affairs. He taught over 16,000 NC State students during his 40 years at NC State. In that time he won three University Outstanding Teaching Awards, the Distinguished Alumni Undergraduate Professor Award, the Outstanding Academic Adviser Award, and the Provost’s Award for Excellence. He served as the campus President of Phi Kappa Phi in 2000-2001, and as Chair of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers. His past research focused on the behavioral toxicology and pharmacology of amphibian skin secretions.

Michelle M. Bushey
Professor of Chemistry
Trinity University
715 Stadium Drive
San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 999-7318
Email: mbushey@trinity.edu

Faculty Careers at Undergraduate Institutions and How to Apply for Them

Integrating Capillary Electrophoresis and HPLC Throughout the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum – A NSF-CCLI A&I Project

Porous Polymer Monoliths for Use in Capillary Electrochromatography

Dr. Bushey’s undergraduate research program revolves around biochemical applications of capillary electrophoretic separation methods. She has supervised 57 students working on research projects. Her research has been supported by Research Corporation, Petroleum Research Fund, NIH, Dreyfus Foundation, and Dow.


L. Mark Carrier, Ph.D.
Director of Assessment
Professor, Psychology
Co-Founder & Co-Director, George Marsh Applied Cognition Laboratory
California State University -- Dominguez Hills
Department of Psychology
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson, CA 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3499 (office)
Phone: (310) 243-2325 (lab)
Fax: (310) 516-3642
Email: lcarrier@csudh.edu


Technology and Everyday Multitasking
Youth and Technology
Psychological Effects of Social Media Use


Mark has a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He has been a professor of psychology at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) since 1998. Before that, he was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Florida State University from 1994 to 1998. He currently is finishing a co-edited book, "The Wiley Handbook of Psychology, Technology, and Society," with faculty colleagues in the Communications Department and Psychology Department. In addition to teaching and research, Mark was Chairperson of the Psychology Department at CSUDH for 8 years, served as Co-Team Leader of the American Psychological Association/National Institute of General Medical Sciences training program for underrepresented students, participated as a member of the university’s first strategic planning committee, served as a member of the General Education Committee, and has been the Coordinator of the Social and Behavioral Sciences program. He was awarded the Outstanding Professor Award and was a Top 10 Finalist for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ Inspire Integrity Awards in 2011 and was a Coordinator of Student Research Day in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Julio C. de Paula
Dean of the College
Lewis & Clark College
Phone: (503) 768-7100
Email: casdean@lclark.edu


Laser Spectroscopy of Novel Porphyrins with Applications in Tumor Therapy and Molecular Electronics

Planning and Designing Science Facilities: An Example from Haverford College

New Approaches to Teaching Physical Chemistry to Undergraduates

Dr. de Paula specializes in the study of the photophysics of a number of novel porphyrins that are capable of efficient triplet-triplet energy transfer and ultrafast intramolecular charge separation.

Robert P. Marande

Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Bloomsburg University
Ben Franklin 13
400 East 2nd Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Phone: (570) 389-5333
Email: rmarande@bloomu.edu

Use of the Moessbauer Effect on Liquid Crystalline and Polymeric Materials

How Undergraduate Research Can Influence Academic Programs  

Establishing Administrator Support for Undergraduate Research  

The Industrial Connection

Dr. Marande and his research group use the Moessbauer Effect to investigate the glassy phases of liquid crystalline and polymeric materials. As dean he has worked with different department chairpersons in integrating undergraduate research into the curriculum based on his past experience as a faculty member and department chairperson. He has engaged in research in the private sector resulting in the establishment of several patents.

Kristi Multhaup

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
Davidson College
Phone: (704) 894-2008

Exploring the wane of childhood amnesia with adult recollections of childhood

This talk is most appropriate for college/university Psychology Departments.

The effects of source monitoring on memory illusions: Evidence from older and younger adults

This talk is most appropriate for college/university Psychology Departments.

Myths of aging

This talk is most appropriate for community groups.

Kristi received her B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Princeton University. She studied aging on a 3-year post-doc at Washington University in St. Louis and for another year on a post-doc at Duke University.

Kristi started at Davidson College in the fall of 1996 where she teaches and does research in the areas of aging and cognition. She has authored or co-authored 14 publications in scholarly journals and one book chapter, has made 30 presentations at professional conferences, and reviews manuscripts for 14 scholarly journals. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and 11 professional societies.

Her research interest is in cognitive aging, particularly the mechanisms that are responsible for memory changes and, in some cases, the lack of memory changes in healthy older adults. Specialty areas include source memory (where did you learn information--a friend, the TV?) and inhibitory control (e.g., what we use to name the color of ink for the word RED "black"). She also enjoys helping students develop research projects in aging that are not necessarily linked to cognition (e.g., social partner choices made by younger and older adults) and projects in cognition that are not necessarily linked to aging (e.g., determining the childhood age at which we begin to have personal memories of our experiences that we can recall as adults).

James F. O’Brien

Chemistry Department
Southwest Missouri State University
Phone: (417) 883-3821
Email: jimobrien@missouristate.edu

Famous Mad Hatters

The Scientific Sherlock Holmes

Absinthe: A Chemical and Artistic History

Dr. O’ Brien’s research interests are molecular orbital calculations on inorganic and organometallic species, and the history of chemistry.

Jeffrey M. Osborn

School of Science
The College of New Jersey
Phone: (609) 771-2790
Email: josborn@tcnj.edu

Pollen: More Than Something to Sneeze At

Getting Started in Undergraduate Research: Advice for New Faculty and Administrators

The Undergraduate Research Program at Truman State University

Dr. Osborn and his students are interested in paleobotany and the functional morphology and evolution of vascular plants.

Terry Oswalt
Associate Dean of Research
Dept of Physics/Space Sciences
Florida Institute of Technology
Phone: (321) 674-7325
Email: oswalt@luyten.astro.fit.edu

Prospecting in the Stellar Graveyard

The Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) Observatory at Kitt Peak and the Future of Small Telescopes at National Sites

In the Asteroid's Shadow

Star Bright, Sky Brighter: The Problem of Light Pollution

Opportunities for Astronomers and Physicists at the National Science Foundation (faculty and students)

Getting Started in Undergraduate Research: Advice for New Faculty and Administrators

Dr. Terry D. Oswalt, an astronomer, is Professor of Physics and Space Sciences and Associate Dean for Research at Florida Institute of Technology. He recently served two years at the National Science Foundation as program officer for Stellar Astronomy and Astrophysics. He earned his Ph.D. in Astronomy at The Ohio State University specializing in photoelectric and spectroscopic studies of binary star systems, late stages of stellar evolution, minor planets, and comets.

Since coming to Florida Tech in 1982, Dr. Oswalt has taught astronomy and physics, while continuing his primary research interest in studies of collapsed stars called white dwarfs. Because such objects are very faint, this work often takes him to Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, and Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, where telescopes as large as 4-meters (156-inches) are available on a competitive basis to scientists. This project was also awarded observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope in collaboration with a dozen other scientists specializing in white dwarfs.

Oswalt established an asteroid occultation program at Florida Tech which involved several dozen students in expeditions to various parts of the southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean. A collaborative expedition involving scientists and students at Florida Tech and M.I.T. produced the first and currently most accurate measurements of Ceres, the largest known asteroid.

Oswalt serves as the founding Chairman of the Southeast Association for Research in Astronomy, a consortium of universities which operates an automated 1-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. He also has been director of the SARA summer internship program, which brings undergraduate students from around the U.S. to the SARA faciltiy at Kitt Peak each summer to do research in astronomy. Dr. Oswalt has written numerous scientific articles and edits the I.A.P.P.P. Communications, an international journal for advanced amateurs, students, teachers and professionals who collaborate on research and educational projects in astronomy.


Vladimir Parpura, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of Neurobiology
Scientist, Civitan International Research Center and
Center for Glial Biology in Medicine
Investigator, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
Director, Atomic Force Microscopy & Nanotechnology Laboratories
1719 6th Avenue South, CIRC 429
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35294-0021
phone: (205) 996-7369
fax: (205) 975-6320
e-mail: vlad@uab.edu

Richard W. Peterson
Department of Physics
Bethel College
Phone: (612) 638-6465
Stroboscopic Holography Measurements in Acoustics Stroboscopic techniques have been incorporated with Michelson interferometers, holographic interferometry, and optical schlieren to allow the imaging and measurement of a variety of periodic acoustical phenomena. Interesting applications include shock waves in air, standing waves in gases, flame tube diagnostics, and sonoluminescence. Dr. Peterson has taught optics in both academic and industrial settings for many years while working with undergraduates. In 1998 he received the APS prize for research with undergraduates.

Julio J. Ramirez, Ph.D.

R. Stuart Dickson Professor
Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience
Department of Psychology
Davidson College
Phone: (704)-894-2888

Developing an Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience: Four Blueprints

Neuroscience as a Component of an Undergraduate Psychology Curriculum

Are Broken Brains Doomed to Dysfunction?

Dr. Ramirez, one of the first two fellows of CUR, has involved his student colleagues in research on recovery from central nervous system injury since 1981. He has been an active participant, over the last ten years, in national dialogues aimed at the development of undergraduate curricula in neuroscience.

Gary Reiness

Biology Department
Lewis & Clark College
Phone: (503) 768-7513
Email: reiness@lclark.edu

The Road Less Taken: Non-classical Secretion of a Neurotrophic Factor

Building a Research-Active Science Department

Dr. Reiness and his students study the mechanism by which cells export ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), a protein essential for proper formation of synapses in the developing nervous system. They have shown that CNTF is secreted by a novel mechanism, distinct from the customary pathway traversed by most secretory proteins. A former CUR Councilor, Dr. Reiness has served as Chair of Biology and Associate Dean of Faculty at Pomona College, and as Chair of Biology at Lewis & Clark College, where he is currently Dean of the Mathematical and Natural Sciences.

Beheruz N. Sethna

Professor of Business Administration, President
The State University of West Georgia
Phone: (770) 836-6442
Email: BSethna@WestGA.edu

Review of Tom Friedman's "The World is Flat" -- Implications for Higher Education

The Ugly American in Comparative Education Systems

The Dearth of an Academic Culture in American Lives and Messages

Early Entrance Opportunities in Gifted Education

Electric / Hybrid Vehicles -- The Time is Now

Beheruz N. Sethna is a Professor of Business Administration, and President of the University of West Georgia.  He is the first person of Indian origin to become President of an U.S. University, and the first of any ethnic minority to become President of an IHE (non-HBCU) in Georgia. Remaining active in teaching and scholarship, he considers among his highest honors, being elected Honors Professor of the Year (1999) and being the faculty advisor for the student research team winner at Big Night and at the National Social Sciences Association (2003). His research areas include gifted education and business. He was associated with the start of the Texas Academy for Leadership in the Humanities, and later started the Advanced Academy of Georgia, a full-time residential program for gifted youth of high-school age. He is the author or coauthor of over 55 papers and a book entitled, Research Methods in Marketing and Management.  View his full biography.

Christopher W. Starr
Head, Computer Science
Director, Software Innovations Laboratory
College of Charleston
Phone: (843) 953-8150
R&D with Incubation Within and Outside of the University –Process and Issues in Universities without Tech Transfer Offices
This talk is for student entrepreneurs
Computation in the Liberal Arts
This talk is for faculty, faculty leadership, higher ed administration
Generating a Software Talent Pipeline
This talk is for departments with computer science and related degree programs
Dr. Starr holds a PhD in Systems Science from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Starr has held national, state and local technology leadership positions, is experienced with undergraduate research in computer science and in computer science education and is a strong supporter of K-12 technology linkages in higher education.

Julio Turrens

Department of Biomedical Sciences
University of South Alabama
Phone: (251) 380-2714
Email: jturrens@usouthal.edu

Biochemical targets for the treatment of parasitic diseases

Mitochondria: from energy production to cell suicide

Oxidative metabolism in biological systems

Teaching bioethics and research integrity to undergraduates

Julio's research is focused in two fields: a) free radical metabolism in mammalian cells, and b) basic metabolism of trypanosomatids (parasitic protozoa). His studies in this area of free radical metabolism have been focused on identifying both sources and methods to detect their formation. The second area of interest focuses on the intermediate metabolism of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasites responsible for Chagas disease, an incurable disease that affects 18 million people through the Americas. They have identified various metabolic differences with mammalian cells including: a) organization and substrate preference in the electron transport chain, and b) an enzyme (NADH-fumarate reductase), not found in mammalian cells, which may in the future become targets for an effective anti-parasitic chemotherapy.

In 1998, Julio designed a campus-wide program for undergraduate research and has directed this program since then. For more information, please visit the web page at: http://www.southalabama.edu/biomedical/ucur/.

Quinn Vega

Assistant Professor
Deptartment of Biology and Molecular Biology
Montclair University
Phone: (973) 655-7178
Email: vegaq@mail.montclair.edu

Molecular Research in an Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

In this project, students complete a research project while learning molecular biology laboratory techniques. Specifically, students are asked to create and analyze a chimeric construct. This project is funded through an NIH AREA grant.

Function of RET, a receptor tyrosine kinase

The function of RET with respect to ligand binding and co-receptor activation, downstream signaling and transcriptional regulation.