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Strengthening Faculty-Student Scholarship at Pitt-Johnstown

Strengthening Faculty-Student Scholarship at Pitt-Johnstown

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At UPJ, our students’ educational experiences are augmented by a wide array of mentored faculty-student opportunities in scholarship, research, and creative activities. In these highly focused, guided, and intense collaborations, students develop and hone the habits of scholars as they engage in inquiry, discovery, integration, application, production, and dissemination of knowledge.  In such one-on-one settings, students broaden their intellectual horizons, deepen their learning and prepare for the real world by engaging in guided or mentored research, scholarship, and/or creative activities that build on and extend traditional classroom learning. 

To institutionalize the practice of faculty-guided undergraduate scholarship engagement, I have created the President’s Mentorship Fund for Faculty-Student Scholarship that is aimed at providing stipends to selected students who are working in collaboration or partnership with a faculty mentor or guide.  The fund will also cover other expenses directly related to the research, and will provide modest stipends for participating faculty. (Please click here to view the call for proposals as developed by the undergraduate research working group).

To further support this vital endeavor, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Lee has agreed to serve as UPJ’s Coordinator for Undergraduate Research.  In that capacity, she will coordinate the activities of UPJ SPACE, serve as the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) Liaison for UPJ, promote opportunities for students to engage in mentored and guided scholarship with faculty, and oversee the process of determining eligibility for funding with respect to the President’s Mentorship Fund.

Dr. Lee is eminently suited for this challenge. A highly respected teacher, Dr. Lee joined UPJ in 1996 and was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2002.  She received her PhD in Biology from Northeastern University and her BA in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College. An Invertebrate Physiologist by training, she has taught Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Vertebrate Anatomy and Aquatic Ecology.  She co-authored the textbook, Anatomy and Physiology for the Health Professions:  An Interactive Journey and is currently working on a second textbook scheduled to be completed by Summer, 2008.  In addition, Dr. Lee has had her research published in many journals including Crustaceana, Journal of Crustacean Biology, and Marine Biology.   She has made several scholarly presentations on various topics including crustacean and physiological ecology as well.  Additionally, she has delivered related talks to civic or community groups. Dr. Lee is an elected Councilor – representing the Biology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research and serves as Chair of the UPJ SPACE organizing committee.  She is also the President-elect of Faculty Senate. 

In addition to the talents that Dr. Lee brings to this role, UPJ is fortunate to have an abundance of very talented, caring, and enthusiastic professors eager to promote undergraduate scholarship, whether through capstone projects, independent studies, theses, performances and the like.  We are grateful for these faculty through whose individualized attention, our student-scholars are challenged, motivated, inspired, and engaged as they refine various real-world-required skills including critical thinking, writing and advanced problem-solving. This is the essence of an educational mission that is fundamentally grounded in the liberal arts while simultaneously preparing students for professional work in the real world for the benefit of our communities.

Congratulations, Dr. Lee!

Posted by Knipple, Robert on 3/25/2008 8:15:00 PM