Doane Fills Director of Undergraduate Research Role
Undergraduate research will gain a new emphasis and stronger presence at the School of Arts and Sciences, following the addition of a Director of Undergraduate Research.
Longtime educator Jackie Florendo of Crete begins the part-time role this semester. According to John Burney, Vice President of Academic Affairs, faculty saw the need for a dedicated coordinator of research campus-wide, who also could develop research opportunities in more disciplines.
"Once this is in place, we'll see more connections between students doing research. It will raise the visibility and culture of research on this campus," he said.
Florendo will work with faculty to find more opportunities for undergraduate research and the funding to support additional student researchers. She also will track the research being done on campus.
Other responsibilities of the new role include:
- Coordinating the summer undergraduate research experience in 2013 and 2014 and organizing student social interactions and sharing of experiences across disciplines.
- Coordinating MindExpo
- Serving as chair of the Institutional Review Board (after a period of transition this fall)
- Administering the award process for course development stipends and student research allocations funded by the Mellon Grant, in consultation with the Undergraduate Research Committee.
- Working with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to organize a workshop on undergraduate research in the humanities and fine arts and humanistic social sciences, a requirement of the Mellon Grant.
Florendo will continue her work as an instructor for Doane's Education Department.
She holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and an endorsement in early childhood education from Doane. In 2011, she earned Certification of Specialization in Education Administration and Supervision from UNL. She has spent recent years as a research assistant at UNL, where she is completing her Ed.D.
Florendo's career in education spans three decades and includes roles as a teacher, consultant and trainer in early childhood education. She also has served as an evaluator, literacy trainer, and researcher.
As a grant author, she has secured awards of up to $1.3 million for Doane's work in the Navajo Nation as well as significant grants for Early Head Start and the T.E.A.C.H. program.