Pace University’s Iacullo-Bird Elected as 2024-2025 CUR President

Dr. Maria Iacullo-Bird, Assistant Provost for Research in the Office of Research and Clinical Associate Professor of History at the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace University, has been elected to serve as president of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). Iacullo-Bird will become president-elect on July 1, 2023, taking a seat on CUR’s Executive Board, and succeeding 2023-2024 CUR president Bethany Usher (George Mason University) in the summer of 2024.

“The vision for my presidency is inextricably rooted in my personal research journey. As a first-generation college student who conducted research as a freshman, I experienced the transformative power of undergraduate research that profoundly impacted my education and career,” explains Iacullo-Bird. “In advancing the CUR Strategic Plan goals, I will prioritize inclusive and equitable access to research experiences and resources for students and mentors. I am excited to connect with CUR members and institutions and engage their passionate commitment, innovative practices, and thought leadership to support and promote a robustly engaged CUR community. In joining the CUR Executive Team, I will bring my keen interest in advocacy at the federal level. This advocacy focus builds upon the historic role of CUR in championing undergraduate research funding starting with its founding in the late 1970s. Having recently attended the Third World Congress on Undergraduate Research at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, I am eager to advance CUR’s influential role in the internationalization of undergraduate research and commitment to ‘enriching and advancing society through undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry’.”  

Iacullo-Bird’s dedication to research, advocacy, and community engagement with varied constituencies not only has been an integral part of her academic work but will help benefit her leadership as CUR president-elect. Beginning with an introductory research experience in third grade, she developed a love of history that led her to emphasize access to research libraries in her college search, and earn a doctorate in history.  As a teacher-scholar at Pace who prioritizes student research in her courses, her leadership in college-based undergraduate research propelled her to lead university-wide initiatives and ultimately became a defining focus in her academic career. Her early introduction to CUR in 2009 streamlined into more involvement with the community as she took on a variety of leadership roles within CUR including Chair of the CUR Arts and Humanities Division (2016-2019) and serving on the executive board since 2019.                              

“As both an educator and an administrator, Prof. Iacullo-Bird is an inspiring and committed advocate for undergraduate research, and we’re honored and pleased that she has been chosen as CUR’s president-elect,” said Pace President Marvin Krislov. “In leading undergraduate research initiatives that prioritize inclusive student access across our university, she has given new prominence and visibility to the research component of our experiential learning model. We know that engaging in academic research results in many positive outcomes for undergraduates, from increased retention to expanded career pathways, and we are delighted that she will be advancing this important work in this national leadership role.” 

Lindsay Currie, CUR executive officer, explains: “Dr. Maria Iacullo-Bird exemplifies her passion for undergraduate research in her steadfast commitment to advocacy. She brings an important perspective from the Arts and Humanities division and experience from her position on the CUR Foresight Committee which will support the continued growth of CUR. We look forward to adding her passion as we continue to achieve CUR’s mission and vision.”

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.