Newswise — Ruth J. Palmer, associate professor in the School of Education at The College of New Jersey, has been elected as a general representative to the Executive Board of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). She began her three-year term on July 1, 2017.

Palmer’s contributions to CUR include her service as co-chair of the 2016 CUR Biennial Conference and cofounder of its Education Division. Under her leadership, the division established its first faculty-student research scholarship (to support first- and second-year students in education and education-related fields), launched a survey of division members, and created working groups to promote faculty and student engagement in education research. Her service to CUR resulted in her recognition as the organization’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year. 

An educational psychologist, Palmer teaches multiple courses including Adolescent Learning and Development; the first-year seminar Pedagogy and Politics of the Civil Rights Movement: A Focus on Citizenship Schools, Freedom Schools, and Community; and research and inquiry at TCNJ’s School of Education. She also is affiliated with the college’s African American Studies Department. Her research interests include teacher education (specifically identity construction), the scholarship of teaching and learning, and middle-level education. She initiated and advised TCNJ’s student-led Secondary Education Teachers Association and its subcommittee, the Undergraduate Research Advocacy Initiative. Palmer has served for two terms on the Board of Education for the Ewing Township (NJ) Public Schools, including service as vice president. She holds a BA in modern studies and a diploma in education (teaching) from the University of the West Indies, an M Ed in school psychology from Howard University, and a PhD in educational psychology from Howard.

Said Palmer, “My professional career has been in the field of human learning, especially adolescent learners, their teachers, and the institutions that serve them. Today, I work with a sense of urgency on behalf of prospective teachers in the construction of their teaching selves or teaching identities. I am convinced that teachers who have been mentored in a range of complex and high-impact learning experiences, including undergraduate research, will develop the agency and autonomy that drive innovation and change; they simultaneously build the capacity to teach their students to do the same. The Council on Undergraduate Research affords me another opportunity to learn and to serve at the policy level.”


The Council on Undergraduate Research ( supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. More than 700 institutions and more than 12,000 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.

Founded in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School, The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, NJ, maintains the fifth highest four-year graduation rate among all public colleges and universities. TCNJ’s longstanding commitment to faculty-student collaboration was recognized in 2015 by CUR’s Campus-Wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishment.