Lourdes Echegoyen, PhD (The University of Texas at El Paso), Sean Fox (Carleton College), and Eric Hall, PhD (Elon University) have been elected as general representatives on CUR’s Executive Board for 2023-2024. These positions assist in providing the strategic direction of CUR, while supporting CUR’s mission and strategic goals. Their positions will become active as of July 1, 2023.
Lourdes Echegoyen is the director of campus office of undergraduate research initiatives (COURI) and research associate professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at El Paso. Her past experiences in opening COURI, directing an international exchange program, leading cross-disciplinary programs, and participating in national, university, and center committees, have allowed Echegoyen to understand the collective impact and the vision of CUR to help shape what she hopes to bring to the executive board.
Echegoyen explains, “The moment I became the founding director of the Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives (COURI) at UTEP almost 13 years ago, CUR became my default professional organization, guiding me and my team through many of the goals we set out to accomplish. I am honored and thrilled to be able to serve as a member of the CUR Executive Board and bring to the table not only my personal perspective and professional expertise but also the perspective from the faculty mentors and students we serve at one of the nation’s top Hispanic Serving Institutions as well as those at our partner institutions. I am excited to closely work with the talented group of individuals that compose the Board, who represent the diversity of people, fields and institutions that have consistently supported, broadened and injected with innovative ideas the educational practice with the highest impact on our nation’s undergraduate students: mentored research, scholarship and creative inquiry.”
Dr. John Wiebe, provost and vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas at El Paso adds, “Dr. Echegoyen’s innovative work at UTEP has served our students exceedingly well, providing them career-shaping opportunities and aspirational access to graduate education. She is a national leader in both practice and research on undergraduate scholarship and creative inquiry, documenting the transformative impact of her efforts on student success and matriculation in graduate school. Her service on the CUR Executive Board will provide perspective on the potential of undergraduate research to broaden participation in the production of knowledge among students traditionally underserved by higher education.”
Sean Fox is the Technical Director for the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. He has been involved in the support and growth of the SERC evolving the program from two people and a single grant to 20 full-time professionals routinely drawing in over 70 grants. From serving on an extramural board and other leadership avenues, Fox set of experiences offers will offer a fresh perspective to the CUR Executive Board.
Fox states, “It is a privilege to serve on the CUR Executive Board. My own professional trajectory was crystalized during an undergraduate research experience years ago, and the power of these experiences to transform lives continues to resonate in the work I’ve done since. CUR’s work to promote and expand the reach of these experiences is critically important in a world where the value of undergraduate education is increasingly questioned.”
Eric Hall is the professor of exercise science and the director of undergraduate research program at Elon University. With multiple awards under his belt, including the CUR Health Sciences Innovative Mentor Award (2022), Hall has had great success as a scholar with publishing over 100 publications and book chapters including over 30 of them having students as lead co-authors. His scholarship and mentorship has been recognized in multiple ways and he continues to transcend various service opportunities related to undergraduate research such as being one of the founding councilors for the Health Sciences Division of CUR.
“Undergraduate Research mentorship has been a large part of my identity as a teacher-scholar and the success that I have had at Elon. Recently I have taken on the role of Director of Undergraduate Research and I am now honored to serve on the CUR Executive Board so that I can help others achieve the success they want in their academic careers through undergraduate research,” states Hall.
Paul Miller, associate provost for academic excellence and operations and professor of exercise science adds, “Undergraduate Research is a prominent piece of the student and faculty experience at Elon. We are excited to have Dr. Eric Hall serve on the CUR Executive Board and engage in the exchange of ideas across institutions that also deeply value undergraduate research. We know that we will all benefit from these interactions.”
Lindsay Currie, CUR executive officer, explains: “We are excited to welcome these three impressive individuals to the CUR Executive Board as General Representatives. Their diverse knowledge base and perspectives, teamed with leadership experiences across multiple disciplines will be an integral part of our conversations. As always, their passion for achieving CUR’s mission to advance undergraduate research is exhibited in their eagerness to volunteer for CUR and their leadership throughout multiple roles.”
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.