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Phame Camarena, dean of the William Conroy Honors College at New Mexico State University, will also serve as director of undergraduate research initiatives, NMSU Provost Carol Parker and Vice President for Research Luis Cifuentes have announced.
As director of undergraduate research initiatives, Camarena will work to coordinate and strengthen NMSU students’ various undergraduate research opportunities, and also work to establish strategies for assessing the outcomes and effectiveness of undergraduate research initiatives already underway at NMSU. This initiative will be university-wide and not limited to the Honors College.
Currently, NMSU has multiple undergraduate programs administered by its various colleges, which are largely grant-funded. These are highly effective, impactful programs, but relatively limited numbers of students are able to participate.
Parker said while many other universities have university-wide offices dedicated to promoting research opportunities for undergraduates, it has been a while since the NMSU Provost’s Office has focused on growing these opportunities for its students. Under Camarena’s leadership, NMSU will be able to provide greater awareness of the importance of providing research opportunities to as many undergraduate students as possible, building from the strong base its current programs offer.
Camarena said undergraduate research experiences transformed his educational and professional trajectory and that he has always incorporated undergraduate students into his program of work. He added, “The research on undergraduate student research experience is clear – it is a high impact learning opportunity that promotes student achievement and success at the highest level.
“The willingness of our faculty to mentor undergraduate researchers helps to ensure that NMSU is a first-choice destination for academically strong students who learn by doing from leaders in their fields,” Camarena said. “It is a sincere privilege to work with faculty from across the university to learn how we might strengthen these efforts and further elevate NMSU’s reputation for both excellence in research and student success.”