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OURF Leadership Update

Colleagues,  

 

Last fall, we combined the offices of Undergraduate Research and National Scholarships & Fellowships to create greater synergies between these high-performing units and to develop stronger alliances with academic departments. We wanted to provide you a status update on the leadership in this office.   

 

First, we are pleased to announce Dr. Erin Darby as the inaugural faculty director, effective May 15, for the Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (OURF). Dr. Darby is currently an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies and co-director of the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project in southern Jordan. She will maintain dual appointments as associate professor and faculty director in OURF. As faculty director, Dr. Darby is charged with growing UT’s undergraduate research infrastructure and more profoundly embedding research within the UT undergraduate experience.  

 

Second, Andrew Seidler, former director of the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships, has been named the permanent director of OURF. In this expanded role, he will oversee the office’s administrative operations and staff, integrate OURF’s services into university-level initiatives such as Vol Success Teams, and continue to enhance the programs and student support functions in these critical areas. Under his leadership, UT has emerged as one of the nation’s top-producing Fulbright institutions and has had back-to-back Rhodes Scholars, its first-ever Gates Cambridge and Mitchell Scholars, its first Marshall Scholar in 35 years, and, in 2020, a national record five Goldwater Scholars.  

 

We are excited to announce these new roles and look forward to working with you as we continue to nurture a culture of critical inquiry and enrich the undergraduate experience.   

 

In the Volunteer spirit,  

 

Amber Williams  

Vice Provost for Student Success  

 

Ron Kalafsky  

Associate Vice Provost for Student Success