Research and scholarship office appoints interim director

Associate Professor Joseph Wirgau has been appointed interim director of Radford University's new Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, effective May 13. Under his direction, the office will support and promote undergraduate research on campus.

"The opportunity for motivated undergraduate students to work with faculty in original research and scholarship is a cornerstone in our students’ college experience," said Provost Sam Minner, vice president for academic affairs. "This office will provide a backbone of support for faculty mentors and students to work together in applying theoretical 'classroom' knowledge to practice."

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship will:

  • provide summer stipends for students to conduct research and take classes.
  • assist faculty and students with travel to present research.
  • coordinate RU's membership in the Council for Undergraduate Research.
  • coordinate the RU Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research and Engagement Forum.
  • mentor students who apply for nationally prestigious scholarships and awards.
  • coordinate assessment of undergraduate research.
  • lead faculty development in best practices in mentoring undergraduate research.

Wirgau has been a faculty member for 10 years in the RU Department of Chemistry, serving most recently as its chair. He has supervised undergraduate research projects on the environmental testing of Peak Creek, chemical assessment of the artificial wetland at RU and the fundamental chemistry involved with the treatment of iron overload. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

"Learning should be central to everything done at a university, and I cannot think of a more important way to develop a deep and practical understanding of one's discipline than through original research and scholarship," he said. "The process of inquiry, investigation and discovery is fundamental to transforming each generation of students into scholars."

Feb 26, 2013
Chad Osborne
(540) 831-7761