Servoss and Thallapuranam to Jointly Serve as Co-Directors of Undergraduate Research

Shannon Servoss, associate professor of chemical engineering, and Suresh Thallapuranam, professor of biochemistry, will serve as co-directors of undergraduate research.
University Relations

Shannon Servoss, associate professor of chemical engineering, and Suresh Thallapuranam, professor of biochemistry, will serve as co-directors of undergraduate research.

During the summer months, the Office of Research and Innovation conducted an internal search to fill the position of an undergraduate research director. Out of the candidate pool, two U of A professors impressed the panel with their career experience and passion for working with undergraduate students.

Shannon Servoss, associate professor of chemical engineering, and Suresh Thallapuranam, professor of biochemistry, were offered appointments as co-directors of undergraduate research and both agreed to share the title and responsibilities thereof.

The duties of this position entail supporting undergraduate research and creative activities across academic disciplines. The two professors will report to Wesley Stites, associate vice chancellor for research and innovation. They will coordinate with Honors College and the Office of Research and Innovation to fulfill their mission. Tasks vary from year to year.

For the 2020-2021 academic school year, duties will include relaunching the undergraduate research journal, Inquiry, engaging in conversations with colleges and departments to encourage research activity among non-Honors students, and gathering regular feedback from undergraduate participants and faculty mentors about how to maintain and improve programs.

“We are thrilled to have Professors Servoss and Thallapuranam to take the leadership role for UA’s Undergraduate Research Office,” Vice Chancellor Daniel Sui said. “As research increasingly becomes an integral part of the experiential learning experience for undergraduates worldwide, I am confident Professors Servoss and Thallapuranam will work with the rest of the faculty on campus to bring UA’s undergraduate research to a new level of excellence in the coming years.”

Servoss and Thallapuranam will also oversee the implementation of improvements in student programs and routinely assess their effectiveness. They will also frequently communicate with the Office for Student Success and offices of undergraduate research at peer institutions. Another item in their interest is to develop zero credit hour courses related to research methods and ethics for students not enrolled in the Honors College. The co-directors will also work with research administration staff in the tracking and tracing of funding and expenditures which support research activities at the undergraduate level. 

With the I3R Initiative on the horizon, there is an enormous opportunity for expanding undergraduate research at the U of A. The new co-directors of undergraduate research are excited to continue sparking innovation and encouraging collaboration among the student body. 

Contacts

Sarah Brown, communications assistant
Office of Research and Innovation
479-575-6874, sarahb@uark.edu

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