Newswise — Joe Trimmer, emeritus professor of English at Ball State University, has been selected as the 2022 Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) – Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Awardee.

Trimmer mentored hundreds of undergraduate students, including many dozen Honors College undergraduates at Ball State University. For many years and into retirement, Trimmer continued his passion for mentoring students. In a course that analyzed the literature on family history, he guided hundreds of students to create individual family portfolios based on interviews and other research. Trimmer is also a celebrated writer, known for designing his publications to inspire and deepen critical and creative thinking, writing skills, and of course, research methods and synthesis. These publications include the River Reader, a collection of expository prose geared toward modeling how writers turn empirical observation into artful and significant writing, and the composition textbooks Writing Arguments and Writing with a Purpose.

Trimmer helped found CUR’s Division of Arts and Humanities. This community continues to support undergraduate research in the areas of arts and humanities by highlighting models of success, training future mentors, and supporting current student researchers. In turn, this CUR division urged the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to build undergraduate research into their funding programs. His work with CUR has also involved direct assistance to students doing undergraduate research. Along with his wife, Carol Trimmer, they created gifts to fund student travel to national and international conferences. Trimmer has been active in CUR for almost 20 years and served as a member of the Executive Board from 2016 to 2020.

Said Lindsay Currie, CUR’s executive officer, “Professor Joe Trimmer’s innovative interdisciplinary work and commitment to the long-standing mission of CUR has inspired undergraduate researchers and faculty members alike. His publications have provided invaluable resources for faculty and administrators wishing to nurture undergraduate research in the arts and humanities. Trimmer’s active roles within CUR, the CUR Arts and Humanities Division, the Indiana Humanities Council Board of Directors, and the National Humanities Alliance have helped to build dynamic communities supporting undergraduate research.”

The CUR-Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Award was established in 2018 through an endowed gift by 2012 CUR Fellow Joyce Kinkead (Utah State University) to nurture undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry in arts and humanities disciplines.

Trimmer will be celebrated virtually at the upcoming CUR Spring Celebration on April 21, 2022, from 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET. This celebration is open to the undergraduate research community.


Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is an organization of individual, institutional, and affiliate members from around the world that share a focus on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity opportunities for faculty and students. More than 700 institutions and more than 13,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that faculty members enhance their teaching and contribution to society by remaining active in research and by involving undergraduates in research and that students engaged in undergraduate research succeed in their studies and professional advancement.