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McBee Faculty Mentors Support CURO Scholars

CURO 2024

Two research teams with McBee faculty mentors presented at the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) symposium on Monday, April 8.

The annual CURO symposium celebrates the work of teams across campus, including projects led by Dr. Erik Ness and Dr. Krystal L. Williams. As a highlight and culmination of months of work, undergraduate students make short oral presentations or prepare poster sessions to showcase their research.

Dr. Ness mentors five undergraduate students, Bridget Goodman, Mia Nicole Sharpe, Rohan Deulkar, Will Rambo, and Trevor Frank, in an ongoing investigation of the landmark U.S. state higher education reauthorization inventory, funded by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, Arnold Ventures, and the Lumina Foundation. They joined a team that includes three graduate students in the McBee Institute, who work with and mentor the undergraduates.

Goodman, Sharpe, Deulkar, Rambo, and Frank delivered an oral presentation and created a poster session of research methods, progress, and findings, “A Landscape of State Reauthorization: Present Policies and Practices Protecting Institutional Quality.”

CURO scholars
Bridget Goodman, Mia Nicole Sharpe, and Will Rambo with their poster.

This year is Ness’ first project through CURO, and he expects to continue. “I see three main benefits of including CURO students on research projects. 1. The students contribute right away on core research functions, which increases the research team’s capacity and productivity. 2. CURO students offer fresh perspectives on topics, which often help the research team consider other possibilities for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. 3. CURO students gain valuable research experience that will help them as they continue research on topics more closely related to their interests,” he said.

Dr. Williams’ work with CURO scholars in 2022 motivated Ness to try the program last fall. Williams continues to mentor two CURO students in her major NSF CAREER grant research. Shriya Rasale and Lilly Steiner presented a poster, “Race-Gendered Intersectionality of Black Undergraduate Women in Computing (BUWC): Preliminary Scale Development and Validation” at the symposium.

They joined three McBee graduate students on Williams’ project to “develop and validate a scale to measure the marginalizing experiences of BUWC resulting from the intersectional race-gendered challenges.” The undergraduates assisted in refinements to the survey instruments based on focus group and expert reviews.

Rasale also received a Libraries Undergraduate Research Award- Juror’s Choice for her work on the project. Resales felt it was a “privilege” to work with Steiner and under the mentorship of Williams. “As an undergraduate woman in computing myself, I was drawn to this research since I know how hard it is for women in STEM to get opportunities,” said Rasale.

UGA CURO is an undergraduate research program that partners students with faculty members to further develop research skills and contribute to on-going projects. Students across UGA in any year of study, major or GPA can participate.


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Graduate Coordinator and Professor of Higher Education
Assistant Professor of Higher Education

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