4th Annual Kemper Speaker: Undergraduate Research Keynote, Faculty Workshop

Sep. 22, 2015

Bethany Usher at TEDx

Provost Julian Schuster invites the Webster University community to activities featuring the fourth Annual William T. Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Bethany Usher. Usher, director of Students as Scholars at George Mason University, will speak on Thursday, Oct. 29, in addition to leading a faculty workshops and other conversations throughout the day on the topic of undergraduate research as a meaningful and high-impact experience for faculty and their student partners.

The faculty-student scholarly collaborations explored in these presentations are powerful examples of action-oriented learning described in the University's strategic plan, Global Impact for the Next Century, allowing students to engage in a diverse academic community through authentic experiences and mentorship that support their transformation for scholarship, professional practice, and global citizenship.

Keynote Presentation

Integrating (and loving) teaching and scholarship through undergraduate research
Thursday, Oct. 29, 11:30 a.m.
East Academic Building, room 253

Usher will present “Integrating (and loving) teaching and scholarship through undergraduate research,” and discuss how undergraduate research is the core of a great college experience for faculty and students. Working collaboratively with undergraduate students helps faculty maintain research interests while mentoring the next generation of scholars, practitioners, and citizens. Integrating scholarly work with teaching is a way to make classes more interesting to students and more fun to teach. This talk will explore the value of undergraduate involvement in research and scholarly projects in all disciplines, and making these experiences available to all students. 


Thursday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m.
East Academic Building, Edward Jones Commons

A reception will follow the presentation, with refreshments and conversation on the topic of undergraduate research. All are invited to the reception including those who are unable to attend Usher’s talk.

Faculty Workshop

Designing and mentoring undergraduate research and creative projects
Thursday, Oct. 29, 3 p.m.
East Academic Building, room 102
RSVP to askfdc@webster.edu.

A faculty workshop, “Designing and mentoring undergraduate research and creative projects,” will help faculty members create undergraduate scholarship opportunities for students. In this workshop, participants will talk about how to share research with students, both in classes and in extra-curricular projects and will address how to design manageable and exciting projects for students, with examples from across multiple disciplines. As a part of the workshop, participants will learn the concept of “pocket projects” and strategies for mentoring students.

Speaker Bio

Usher, director of Students as Scholars at George Mason University, takes students to graveyards: she is a biological anthropologist who studies cemeteries from both osteological and archaeological perspectives to understand the social structure and health of past communities. She is passionate about getting students involved in research projects as a way of having them integrate their classroom experiences and learn how fun and exciting it is to tackle intellectual and global challenges. 

 Usher directs the Students as Scholars initiative through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), and serves as an Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE). She is a Councilor and Chair-elect of Undergraduate Research Program Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), and was Co-Chair of the CUR National Meeting in 2014, Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All. Prior to joining Mason in January 2010, she established the Center for Undergraduate Research at State University of New York at Potsdam and served as its founding Director. At SUNY Potsdam, she was an Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology and past chair of the Anthropology Department. She has a long history of collaborating with undergraduate researchers.

tags:  academics, faculty, webster today, provost, academic affairs, research, faculty development center, kemper speaker,