The CUR Mathematics and Computer Sciences Division announces the 2021 recipients of its Faculty Mentor Awards, which honor mentors for their success in mentoring undergraduate researchers:

  • Rania Hodhod (Columbus State University, mid-career awardee)
  • Erik Insko (Florida Gulf Coast University, mid-career awardee)
  • Christopher Seaton (Rhodes College, advanced career awardee)

Rania Hodhod, associate professor and assistant chair in the TSYS School of Computer Science at Columbus State University, earned a BS in computer science and pure math and MS in computer and information sciences at Ain Shams University in Egypt, as well as a PhD in computer science from the University of York in the United Kingdom. Her research interests include artificial intelligence, expert systems, serious games, interactive narrative, and computational creativity. Since 2014, she has mentored more than 60 students.

Erik Insko, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at Florida Gulf Coast University, earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Loras College and master’s and PhD degrees in mathematics from the University of Iowa. His main research interests are in algebraic combinatorics and discrete mathematics. Dr. Insko has mentored more than 47 undergraduates and coauthored 11 publications with undergraduates. A founding co-organizer of the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium—a national research conference for graduate and undergraduate students from underrepresented groups—he believes that positive research experiences can help undergraduates discover the joy of mathematics and empower them to pursue their passions.

Christopher Seaton, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Rhodes College, earned a BA in mathematics from Kalamazoo College and a PhD in mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research interests include differential geometry and topology of singular spaces, invariant theory, and symplectic reduction. Promoting research experiences that synthesize techniques from many fields of mathematics to build student skills, Dr. Seaton has coauthored nine articles with undergraduate students and supervised more than 20 theses of fourth-year students.