Washington State University has appointed Jeremy J. Lessmann, associate professor of chemistry, as director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (UR).
UR is part of the Academic Engagement and Student Success Division in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President and Chancellor Pullman.
“Jeremy brings to his new position a wealth of knowledge and experience with the office and undergraduate research in general, and we are thrilled to have him on board as a leader,” said Mary Sánchez Lanier, vice – assistant rector.
“He has been associated with the program for many years and is very familiar with its objectives, events and initiatives. He also has years of experience as a student advisor and mentor, which will enhance his effectiveness as a program director.
Lessmann said, “I am delighted to serve all WSU students and the university in this new position, and I look forward to helping advance high-impact student learning activities associated with research, scholarship and creative pursuits in all majors.
“I also look forward to building new relationships and sharing information with faculty and staff around the topic of undergraduate research. It is important for all of us to work collaboratively to advance student experiences and success at WSU.
In addition to his part-time leadership duties at UR, Lessmann will continue to teach chemistry courses and advise chemistry students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
At WSU since 1999, Lessmann worked first as a lecturer and postdoctoral research associate with James O. Schenk in the Department of Chemistry, then with Professor Emeritus Ken Nash. At the College of Veterinary Medicine’s School of Molecular Biosciences, Lessmann worked with Michael Konkel and Lisa Gloss, his wife and current dean of the WSU Graduate School.
Lessmann’s research interests include new spectroscopic techniques in inorganic and bioinorganic spectroscopy, as well as the chromatographic characterization and quantification of small molecule metabolites of lactobacillus strains with the aim of reducing foodborne illness, particularly in the poultry.
He obtained his doctorate. in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University, the state land-grant institution headquartered in University Park, and his BA in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.
Since its inception in 2006, the Office of Undergraduate Research has taken on a wide range of responsibilities, such as organizing the annual university-wide showcase for undergraduate research and creative pursuits ( SURCA) and support for summer research programs in STEM fields. UR also offers top student researchers peer mentor roles where they help other students exploring how to get started and find a mentor; offers workshops for students and teachers; offers the UNIV 199 research skills course; and provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships so student researchers can focus on their research rather than working at other jobs.
According to the 2019 National Student Engagement Survey, 25% of WSU seniors said they had worked with a faculty member on a research project.
Nomination aligns with SURCA registration and award applications
Lessmann joins UR as students submit abstracts to apply to present a poster at SURCA 2022 on March 28. Professors, postdoctoral students and other experts are encouraged to register as judges for the popular annual event. Meanwhile, undergraduate students apply online for up to seven types of undergraduate research scholarships.