Angelique Louie, professor of biomedical engineering and vice chair for education in her department, has been appointed as the first faculty director of the UC Davis Undergraduate Research Center.
The appointment of a faculty director is a major milestone for the 5-year-old center, which promotes and facilitates mentorship, presentation, and publication opportunities for students in all majors.
In fostering undergraduate research endeavors, the center provides advising, referrals, and workshops; coordinates such programs as the California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) Scholars and STEM Transfer Day; and publishes Explorations: The UC Davis Undergraduate Research Journal. A sign of the center’s success is that under its leadership, student participation in the annual Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference has doubled, with more than 500 students presenting and 2,000 attending in spring 2013.
Louie will strengthen the center’s ties with faculty in order to identify new strategies for connecting students with mentors and research opportunities. Her major responsibilities include providing strategic leadership for the center’s programs and services and exploring grant opportunities that include a significant undergraduate research component. She will work closely with the vice provost of undergraduate education, Carolyn de la Peña.
"I'm thrilled that Dr. Louie is going to serve as our first faculty director of the Undergraduate Research Center,” de la Peña stated. “Her boundless energy and creative vision will help us build upon the success of its research conference and further strengthen the connection between our undergraduate students and faculty research."
Louie expressed her eagerness to promote and enhance undergraduate research. “Hands-on experience is one of the most important activities that students can engage in to help define their interests and identify aptitude for a future career. One of my goals as director will be to see that no one who wants to do research gets left behind. When I was an undergraduate at UC Davis I was incredibly shy, and that made it difficult to seek out research opportunities. Back then, there was no Undergraduate Research Center to help students like me learn how to connect with faculty, so I am especially aware of its value for students.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at UC Davis, Louie continued her education at UCLA (M.S., electrical engineering) and UC Irvine (doctorate, biological sciences), and did postdoctoral work at Caltech. She has taught at UC Davis since 2002.
Louie officially assumes her new post July 1, for a three-year, 50 percent term.