Council on Undergraduate Research Elects New President

Released: 6/27/2013 6:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)
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Ami Ahern-Rindell Brings 20 Years of Experience to Undergraduate Research Association

Newswise — Washington, DC- Dr. Amelia J. Ahern-Rindell, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Portland, has been elected to serve as the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) President for 2014-2015.. CUR, with its over 650 institutional members and nearly 9000 individual members, supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.

Ahern-Rindell’s response to the news “I feel energized by my new role with CUR and plan to use my twenty something years of experience as a teacher-scholar to promote and advance undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities.” Ami has been an active participant of CUR for more than a decade, serving on the Executive Board for 5 of those years. This year she played an integral role leading the Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research task force and for the past two years she has served as the Book Review Editor of the CUR Quarterly.

“Dr. Ahern-Rindell is a dynamic faculty member and teacher-scholar, whose research interests span cell and molecular biology to undergraduate research, assessment, and ethics domains”, said Elizabeth Ambos, Executive Officer for CUR. “CUR will benefit significantly from Dr. Ahern-Rindell’s leadership. Her prior experiences in CUR’s governance, and her contributions to several CUR programmatic areas and task force activities, signify that she is well-prepared to step into the CUR Presidency.”

When asked about her outlook regarding his new position Ami said “I would like to help the higher education community, and faculty in particular, provide opportunities for all students to engage in quality scholarly experiences that promote learning and improve life changing skills. By participating in the scholarly activities of their discipline, students not only practice applying knowledge to answer questions and solve problems, but they also become more self assured and solidify their career goals. I would like to further the vision of my predecessors and continue to utilize the talents and dedication of CUR’s membership to proactively address the challenges we all share in educating our future citizenry.”

This month, at the close of the 2013 CUR Annual Business Meeting, Dr. Ahern-Rindell began her one year term as CUR President-elect, which will be followed by a year as President and a year as Past-President.

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Council on Undergraduate Research: The Council on Undergraduate Research (www.cur.org) supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Over 650 institutions and nearly 9000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.

Ami Ahern-Rindell received her B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Genetics and Cell Biology from Washington State University and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of California, San Diego. In 1992, she received her first tenure-track appointment in the Zoology Department at Weber State University in Ogden Utah. In 1997, she returned to the Pacific Northwest and is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Portland in Oregon. Ami is involved in curriculum modernization and assessment, especially in the area of undergraduate research and scholarship. She has an active research program in which she has collaborated with over 80 students on the cell and molecular characterization of an animal model of a fatal, genetic disorder and has published and given presentations on this work. She teaches courses in Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Evolution, and has taught for her University’s Study Abroad program. This year she was chosen as a UP 2013-2014 Dundon-Berchtold Ethics Fellow and will be collaborating with an Honors student on designing an ethics tutorial for students engaging in undergraduate biological research. She has provided service to her institution, to the Portland community, and at the national level. At UP she has been Chair of the Biology Department, Chair of the Institutional Review Board, and served on other numerous committees. Ami is an elected member of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders and the Sigma Xi National Honor Society and served over 5 years as an Executive Board member of the Columbia-Willamette Chapter of Sigma Xi. She has been a reviewer for National Science Foundation Programs including the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement Program, the Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in Biological Sciences Program, and the Graduate School Fellowship Program. She has reviewed textbooks, journal manuscripts, and grant proposals, and has written book reviews for several academic journals. She has been actively involved in CUR for over 10 years serving 3 consecutive 3-year terms as Councilor, Chaired the Biology Division for 3 years, served a 2-year term as Secretary on the Executive Board, helped with CUR programming as an Institute Facilitator and Coordinator, and currently is Book Review Editor for the CUR Quarterly and Chairs the COEUR Task Force. Her student collaborators have presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and participated in CUR’s Poster on the Hill event in Washington DC.


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