Newly Elected Council Representatives Named for CUR’s 2023-2024 Executive Board

John F. Barthell, Ph.D. (University of Central Oklahoma/National Science Foundation), Lance Barton, Ph.D. (Austin College/University of North Carolina at Charlotte), and Winny Dong, Ph.D. (California State Polytechnic University – Pomona) have been elected to serve as council representatives on CUR’s Executive Board. These positions assist in providing the strategic direction of CUR and represent the voice of its members while supporting CUR’s mission and strategic goals.  

John Barthell is currently a program officer at the National Science Foundation. Barthell previously held the position of general representative on CUR’s Executive Board as well as a councilor in the At-Large Division since 2011. Barthell has continued his commitment to CUR by also participating as a consultant on the CUR Transformations grant. These many leadership roles allowed Barthell to not only grow and expand his sense of relevance of the value of CUR but advance his ability to understand and practice leadership for undergraduate research within the community.

“I am honored to serve in this leadership role with CUR and to expand my involvement with student-centered education from my previous work at the University of Central Oklahoma to now include this important service at the national level,” explained Barthell.

Charlotte Simmons, provost for the University of Central Oklahoma stated “With this honor, Dr. Barthell will continue to intensify his career-long commitment to undergraduate education and the value of preparing students for their chosen career paths. The University of Central Oklahoma is proud to see him receive this very deserved recognition.”

Lance Barton is currently a professor and chair of the Biology department at Austin College who will continue on with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in June 2023. Much of his career has been focused on the creation and development of an effective training program for undergraduates through research. Barton has served as a councilor in the CUR Biology Division for 10 years having had the pleasure of collaborating with colleagues across the continent to enhance the quantity and quality of student research opportunities by sharing knowledge and best practices.

“CUR Councilors helped mentor me from early in my career. For the past decade, I’ve been excited to volunteer and help support other faculty. Joining the CUR Executive Board is an exciting next step for me in helping the organization continue to improve services for members and students,” explains Barton.

Winny Dong is the faculty director at the Office of Undergraduate Research at California State Polytechnic University -Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). With multiple honors, including the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (2021), Dong was re-elected to serve as a returning Engineering Division Councilor for CUR. At Cal Poly Pomona, Dong founded the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2013 and has served as its faculty director since its inception. Her experience in supporting undergraduate research is one directly connected to supporting students from first-generation, low-income, and traditionally under-represented communities and populations. Based on what she has learned by supporting diverse students and creating an inclusive environment, her goal is to bring that perspective to board discussions in developing a culture and community that actively prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dong states, “I am proud to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to advocating for and supporting undergraduate research. I am committed to working with my fellow board members to ensure that CUR continues to provide impactful leadership in undergraduate research.”

“We are proud to have Dr. Winny Dong represent Cal Poly Pomona on the Executive Board for CUR. Winny is a passionate advocate for undergraduate research, and her work on the board will help to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in this transformative experience. As a vital part of a well-rounded education, Cal Poly Pomona is committed to providing students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their field of study, to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, develop their communication and presentation skills, and to network with faculty and other professionals in their field,” explained Dr. Olukemi Sawyerr, associate vice president for academic Innovation at Cal Poly Pomona.Lindsay Currie, CUR executive officer, stated: “We are excited to see the executive board continue to grow with such leaders and impressive individuals. As we continue to navigate the future of CUR, it is imperative for the association leadership to be thoughtful, nimble, and steadfast. These leaders have all of that and more. These individuals all hold a passion for CUR that will help in achieving CUR’s mission to advance undergraduate research.”



Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) focuses on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity. Among the many activities and networking opportunities that CUR provides, the organization also offers support for the professional growth of faculty and administrators through expert-designed institutes, conferences, and a wide-range of volunteer positions. The CUR community, made up of nearly 700 institutions and 13,000 individuals, continues to provide a platform for discussion and other resources related to mentoring, connecting, and creating relationships centered around undergraduate research. CUR’s advocacy efforts are also a large portion of its work as they strive to strengthen support for undergraduate research. Its continued growth in connections with representatives, private foundations, government agencies, and campuses world-wide provides value to its members and gives voice to undergraduate research. CUR is committed to inclusivity and diversity in all of its activities and our community.

CUR focuses on giving a voice to undergraduate research with learning through doing. It provides connections to a multitude of campuses and government agencies, all while promoting networking and professional growth to its community.

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