An important component of Notre Dames drive to become a world-class research university is a commitment to enhancing and expanding the undergraduate research experience.
A reflection of that commitment is the creation of a new assistant director for undergraduate research position within the Office of Research and the appointment of Cecilia Lucero to fill that spot.
Lucero, who previously served as assistant dean for graduate admissions, identified three main components to her new role.
One of the reasons the position is housed in the Office of Research is to be able to identify more external funding which will enable us to support undergraduate, as well graduate, research, not just in science and engineering, but also in the humanities, social science, business and architecture,she said.By housing the position where it is, we are adding further prestige to undergraduate research.
Another aspect of the position involves student outreach.
Ill be devoting a significant amount of effort to making students aware of the undergraduate research opportunities,Lucero said.Roughly 30 percent of students do undergraduate research currently, and Im hoping that by reaching out to students, especially first- and second-year students, we can increase that percentage.
A third aspect of the position involves outreach to faculty and graduate students.
Ill be working to make faculty aware of external funding that is available to support undergraduate research and serving as a sort of matchmakerto develop faculty mentors for undergraduates interested in doing research,Lucero said.Ill also be encouraging graduate students to use their experiences to do peer mentoring with undergraduate researchers. Our goal is to involve undergraduates, graduate students and faculty together in the research experience.
Lucero brings experience from a variety of graduate and undergraduate positions at Notre Dame to her new role.
A native of the Philippines, she was graduated from the University in 1984.She earned a masters degree at the University of Colorado and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Michigans Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.
Lucero continues to serve as director of the Balfour-Hesburgh Scholars Program in the First Year of Studies, which she has done since 2003. She was assistant to the dean of the First Year of Studies from 2004 to 2006. She was appointed assistant dean for graduate admissions last year.