Dr. Chris Lassiter becomes the new director of the Office of Undergraduate Research

by Marcus Stewart on March 8, 2015

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In January of 2015, the Office of Undergraduate Research (formerly known as the Office of Student/Faculty Research) received some major changes to its structure. Dr. Chris Lassiter became the new director of the office after Dr. Julie Lyon left the position. Dr. Lassiter obtained his Bachelors of Science degree at Furman University where he majored in Biology. Afterwards he attended Duke University where he obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics. Dr. Lassiter joined the Roanoke College faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology in 2005. He later became an Associate Professor of Biology in 2012.

Dr. Lassiter explained the many jobs the OUR participates in stating:

“The Office of Undergraduate Research aims to enable and enhance research experiences for all students at Roanoke College. My office defines research as scholarly work and includes the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. During the semester, my office supports the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (multi-year research projects with faculty) and the Work Study Research Assistant program (allows students to work for faculty mentors for pay). During the summer, we support the Summer Scholars program. Throughout the year, students can apply for funds to present their research at conferences. I also advise the Scholars Floor Living Learning Community in Allegheny Hall.”

Being the new director of the office, Dr. Lassiter talked about a few of the changes he wanted to make to the office, stating:

“One of my first actions was to change the office name from Student/Faculty Research to Undergraduate Research in order to better reflect the emphasis of the office on undergraduate students. As I settle into the role, I’d like to expand the Work Study Research Assistant program that has become successful in the past few years. In addition, I will work to add more funding to assist students to attend conferences.”

For anyone considering undergraduate research, Dr. Lassiter says:

“I strongly believe that a liberal arts education works best when we educate the head, hearts, and hands of students. Engaging in research in your chosen discipline allows for that kind of education. Don’t hesitate to contact me at research@roanoke.edu if you are interested in research opportunities on campus. I’ll work with you to make opportunities happen.”

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