Prof. Frederick Spiegel was recently chosen director the University of Arkansas' Office of Undergraduate Research, a new initiative focusing on undergrads and faculty who are pursuing research opportunities.
“Undergrad research was a big part of my own college
education, and it was wonderful to be able to try ideas out and learn from my
mistakes,” Spiegel said. “It caused me to apply material from all my courses,
not just those in my majors, to solving problems. It really helped me to learn
to see the world using the big picture.”
Spiegel has been with the university for three and a half
decades and teaches in the biological sciences department, which he has chaired
and vice-chaired over the years. In the new office, which is administered
through the Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development office, he will
work to coordinate summer research programs, ensure research is promoted in
undergraduate curriculum and edit the undergraduate research journal Inquiry.
“I would like to see the university, through this office,
develop undergraduate research as one track along which students can complete
their curricula,” Spiegel said. “This is not something that can be done
overnight, and I hope to engage interested parties in a discussion of ideas
that presently work and ideas for novel approaches to make research by
undergraduates is something for which the University of Arkansas becomes
recognized as a national leader.”
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