Leading the way. Faculty-mentored undergraduate research

The CUR councilor elections were recently completed, and we’d like to introduce you to the freshly elected CHEMISTRY councilors. Councilors do the work of CUR – bringing faculty development in undergraduate research to YOU! 


Councilors have been elected because they are leaders in the community of researchers at primarily undergraduate institutions or because they show unusual promise of leadership. They must demonstrate this leadership in the council by seeking solutions to problems faced by our research community or by the council.

Councilors have been elected because they are leaders in the community of researchers at primarily undergraduate institutions …

CUR’s vision is to lead regional and national efforts to support high quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Councilors share a passion for undergraduate research and a desire to assist faculty and institutions in establishing and sustaining effective research programs with undergraduates. These newly elected Chemistry Councilors join a current team of CUR chemists who are choosing to share their time and skills to further these goals.

Dr. Mike Castellani

Professor and Chair of Chemistry at Marshall University

castellaniI am a transition metal organometallic chemist.  For the past 3 years, however, my group has been engaged in the design and preparation of a new ligand, which I guess qualifies me as a (bad) synthetic organic chemist now.  My lab typically has 3-5 undergraduates working in it and occasionally a Masters student.  Because my emphasis is now on organic ligand preparation, there is a lot of collaboration with my organic colleagues and the students view them as almost joint advisors.

After many years as a councilor, I still find the division an exciting place.  It has been a wonderful place for me to learn about innovative ways to conduct, promote research with undergraduates, and grow as a professional. Equally important to me is that it is great place to give back to the academic community.

CUR Chemistry is a great group of dedicated professionals

Dr. Amy M. Deveau

Associate Professor & Assistant Chair, Chemistry & Physics Department, University of New England

10934015_10204164073319589_6143929429354828215_nI am an organic and medicinal chemist.  I work with 2-4 students per year on natural product extraction, structure elucidation and small molecule synthesis. CUR Chemistry is a great group of dedicated professionals.  Aside from mentoring (either being mentored or mentoring others), I believe in embedding UGR across curricula; providing global research opportunities to challenge students to think beyond their comfort zone; and applying chemistry success in UGR to other disciplines.

I am excited to continue to work with CUR Chemistry colleagues who are…advocating for ..strong, meaningful research experiences for undergraduates not only in chemistry, but throughout the sciences and beyond.

Dr. Rebecca M. Jones

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at George Mason University

RMJ for work may 2015In January 2012, I relocated to George Mason to help launch the Office of Student Scholarship Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR), a recent winner of the CUR Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishment. This past summer, I transitioned to the teaching faculty where part of my role is in the STEM Accelerator, an initiative of the College of Science. I regularly teach general and inorganic chemistry and the senior seminar. My research interests include exploring best practices in STEM education, gender issues in STEM and the role of the research mentor in undergraduate research experience. I have been an active member of CUR for years and am thrilled to now serve as a chemistry councilor. I look forward to working with other chemists who care about undergraduate research and helping to lead CUR into the future.

I want to do my part to help the young scientists of today have even better opportunities.

Dr. Patricia Ann (Pam) Mabrouk

Professor of Chemistry at Northeastern University

I do research in three areas:  bioanalytical chemistry, green materials research, and science education.  I am currently partnering with two undergraduates.  One student is working on a green process to synthesize conducting polymers and the other student is working with me on a project to better understand the issue of authorship in faculty-undergraduate student relationships. Undergraduate research is why I am a chemist and a professor.  I have worked with undergraduates for over 25-years now.  I have partnered in several ways with CUR in the past and am very much looking forward to giving something back to this wonderful professional association that has given me so very much!

Undergraduate research is why I am a chemist and a professor.

Dr. Mark D. Marshall

Class of 1959 Professor of Chemistry at Amherst College

CQN_5492My research is focused upon the investigation of intermolecular forces via the determination of the structures of gas-phase heterodimers of small molecules using high resolution microwave spectroscopy and quantum chemistry calculations. In a collaborative effort with my Amherst colleague, Prof. Helen Leung, we typically supervise a total three or four undergraduates during the academic year, rising to as many as six during the summers.

I am excited to continue to work with CUR Chemistry colleagues who are all committed to supporting and advocating for support of strong, meaningful research experiences for undergraduates not only in chemistry, but throughout the sciences and beyond.

I have been an active member of CUR for years and am thrilled to now serve as a chemistry councilor…

Dr. Will Polik

Hofma Professor of Chemistry at Hope College

I work with 3-5 students on laser spectroscopy experiments and quantum chemistry calculations of small molecules.  My students and I developed WebMO, a popular interface for computational chemistry programs.  I look forward to promoting new undergraduate research models such as collaborations and consortia, promoting diversity within our students and faculty, and extending the reach of undergraduate research beyond the sciences.

For me, undergraduate research was the gateway to becoming an active, curious scientist

Dr. Nicole L. Snyder

Associate Professor of Chemistry at Davidson College

My research primarily focuses on the synthesis of carbohydrate-based constructs that can beNicole Snyder Lee Small used to explore a variety of fundamental research questions in chemistry and biology. I collaborate with five to ten students per year on average, and maintain many local, national and international collaborations. I am excited to contribute to the advancement of undergraduate research initiatives across the country and around the globe!

Dr. Eileen M. Spain

Carl F. Braun Professor of Chemistry at Occidental College

My work involves 6 students in the process of investigating experimental, interfacial physical chemistry and biochemistry, with the goal of understanding thin film growth on bare and chemically modified surfaces. Why am I in CUR? I want to advocate for research at primarily undergraduate institutions to strengthen and diversify the sciences.

I look forward to working with other chemists who care about undergraduate research

Dr. Pam Trotter

Robert W. Beart Professor of Chemistry at Augustana College

My lab involves 4-6 research students throughout the year studying the role(s) of various inner mitochondrial membrane transporters in lipid, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism of Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and, through an international collaboration, in the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. For me, undergraduate research was the gateway to becoming an active, curious scientist. I want to do my part to help the young scientists of today have even better opportunities.

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