The STR program provides a six-month professional development opportunity for undergraduate students and faculty mentors to develop advocacy skills. It offers students opportunities to communicate the impact of their undergraduate research experience to a variety of stakeholder groups, such as funding agencies, association partners, elected officials, and future employers. This is the STR program’s second year—and Geneseo’s second year participating.
Mentor/mentee teams were selected based on their excellence in undergraduate research and their understanding of the importance of advocating for this high-impact practice. This year, Nora Whorton '24, of Rochester, NY, a biology and French double major with a minor in sociomedical sciences, along with Seynha Jean Coute '26, an international relations major who is minoring in French, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will be working with associate professor and interim chair of Global Languages and Cultures Kodjo Adabra. Arianna Whittaker '25, a sustainability studies major, with a minor in urban studies from Potsdam, NY, will be mentored by Assistant Professor Jessica Gilbert-Overland of the Department of Geography and Sustainability Studies. And Genesis Flores '25, an English and communication double major from the Bronx, will work with assistant professor of English Olaocha Nwabara.
During the next six months, teams will attend an in-person skill development in Washington, DC, advocacy training and networking events, and participate in virtual skill development and discussion sessions throughout the year. The participants will become part of CUR’s advocacy ambassadors to be called upon to meet with elected officials, write op-eds and blog posts, etc.
This year’s STR teams represent 35 institutions from 19 states, comprising 41 campus representatives and 90 undergraduate researchers.