Title: Associate professor of communication sciences and
disorders, and director of the Center for Undergraduate Research Research focus: The interaction between language development
and stuttering Years with UMaine: 15 Milestones: Served on the National Joint Coordinating
Committee on Evidence-Based Practice of the American
Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2004-05; named Distinguished
Alumna in the Department of Communication at College of Wooster in
2003; and holds a national certificate in clinical competence in
speech-language pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing
Question: What is the mission of the new Center for Undergraduate
Answer: CUGR's primary mission is to facilitate and enhance research and
research opportunities for undergraduates. Specifically, that translates
into developing a database of research and creative projects at UMaine
that are open to undergraduates, matching faculty and students by
projects and interests, and getting the word out to students and
academic advisers that the center is a resource.
Question: Why is undergraduate research and scholarship increasingly a
priority at universities nationwide?
Answer: Institutions and employers recognize that the kinds of skills
developed through research and endeavors of scholarship help make an
individual more competitive. There's a clear push in the U.S. that if we
want to compete globally, we need to start with our undergraduates.
Large funding agencies and government agencies emphasize that students
with early research experience develop better critical thinking and
problem-solving skills, and stronger content knowledge.
Question: What can undergraduates get out of research and creative
Answer: In research and scholarship, undergraduates hone their abilities
to communicate and put ideas together, to organize and write, to
investigate and ask questions. They learn to problem solve, using a
variety of methods to find answers. For many students, research provides
an opportunity for a mentor-mentee relationship different from that of
teacher-student. In that context, the learning is invaluable. It's
something I wish for all students.
Question: What's in it for faculty researchers?
Answer: Undergraduates often have a broader perspective, enthusiasm and
energy that are ripe for explorations and learning. For me as a faculty
member, the most incredible process to see is the evolution of learning
by a student involved in research or creative experience. We're looking
at tomorrow's scholars. The more we invest today, the better off we'll
Question: How will CUGR help grow undergraduate research at UMaine?
Answer: In the University of Maine Strategic Plan, advancing undergraduate research with CUGR's leadership is one of 12 objectives
for the institution. CUGR builds on UMaine's strengths as the state's
leading research university, taking advantage of the hundreds of faculty
and graduate students involved in research and creative projects who can
teach and mentor undergraduate researchers. It also looks at curriculum
work, exploring how to include research-based activities in coursework,
and campuswide events highlighting undergraduate research and
scholarship. Already, there's a lot of undergraduate research going on
across campus. CUGR is raising the visibility of undergraduate research
and creative activity.
Question: How do you reach CUGR?
Answer: Contact CUGR director Nancy Hall and graduate assistant Anya
Rose, or stop by the CUGR office, 124 Alumni Hall.
UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
5761 Howard A. Keyo Public Affairs Building
Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776