April 5, 2017
The 2017 recipient of the Weber State University’s Office of Undergraduate Research Outstanding Faculty Mentor for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is Dan Bedford, professor of Geography and WSU honors program director. The award was presented at WSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium in recognition of excellence among undergraduate research mentors. An outstanding mentor is a good listener who is accessible and available to students, guides student researchers toward independence, encourages excellence, and demonstrates expertise in their own discipline. Dan has been an active participant in the iUTAH project since its start in 2012. He says he appreciates the chance ”to contribute to undergraduate research not just at WSU, but across the state,” adding that “I couldn't have done any of this if it were not for the opportunities afforded by iUTAH.”
“Dan has been instrumental in the success of our undergraduate research programs,” says Mark Brunson, iUTAH Education, Outreach and Diversity director. “He manages iUTAH's Research Catalyst Grant program, which supports research at Utah’s primarily undergraduate institutions by faculty members and their undergraduate research assistants.” In addition to his work mentoring other faculty members, “he has actively recruited Weber State students into the iFellows and the Summer Institute programs, and then championed their accomplishments by making sure their work is seen by upper administration at WSU,” says Brunson. “He sees talent in students who may not know they’d be good scientists, and helps them grow into confident researchers who are poised to make a difference.”
WSU student Cynthia Elliott, a 2016 iFellow, is one of the many students to benefit from Dan’s mentorship saying that it “inspired and encouraged me to do my very best work and test my limits. I will always acknowledge his support as critical in my success at Weber." iUTAH benefits from the students that Weber brings to our programs. Over four years, WSU has had 16 students participate in the iFellows undergraduate research experience, 11 students involved in faculty Research Catalyst Grants, and 7 students serve as Summer Institute peer mentors.
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