FOR ADVISORS’ INFORMATION: New Director for Office of Undergraduate Research

The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs is pleased to announce that we have a new director of the Office of Undergraduate Research – Professor Sara Hall.

For your review, below is the message we received this week from Vice Provost Emanuel Pollack:


Dear Colleagues:

I’m delighted to announce that Sara Hall has been appointed Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) effective August 16, 2015. The Office is an integral part of the Center for Student Success Initiatives with undergraduate research being a high impact practice affecting student success.

Professor Hall is associate professor in the Department of Germanic Studies, where she has been instrumental in furthering the involvement of students and faculty in faculty-directed research. In her home department, she supervised numerous Writing in the Disciplines students, independent studies, LAS Undergraduate Research Initiative projects, senior theses, and Honors College capstones. She has supported several student applications for research-focused post-baccalaureate fellowships, such as those funded by the Fulbright Foundation. She also inaugurated an undergraduate poster session and competition as part of the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics annual interdisciplinary conference. She was the recipient of the 2004 UIC Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Teaching Recognition Program Award and is concurrently chair of the minor in Moving Image Arts.

*From 2011 through the summer of 2015, Professor Hall was also an associate dean in the UIC Honors College, where she accomplished a great deal to promote undergraduate research, including spearheading the creation of the Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Journal, a student-run open-access publication featuring groundbreaking undergraduate work from UIC students. She also was instrumental in recruiting as many as thirty new Honors College faculty fellows per year to mentor an increasingly large and diverse student body in the Honors College.

In her new capacity as Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, Professor Hall will be reaching out to faculty across campus to promote undergraduate research and assist faculty as they develop strategies for involving students in their work. Please see the OUR website at undergradresearch.uic.edu for more information, to ask questions, or to provide feedback.

Professor Hall is the first faculty director of the OUR. The Office had been led by Dr. Aginah Muhammad, who administered the popular and successful Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Award, coordinated “Posters under the Dome,” an event recognizing excellence in undergraduate research held at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, and directed other initiatives supporting undergraduate scholars. She now takes on new responsibilities as Director of the Office of First-Year Initiatives. I thank Dr. Muhammad for all she has done to encourage undergraduate research at UIC.

Emanuel Pollack
Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs