Meet the Office of Undergraduate Research staff
Karen Rodriguez'G, Interim Director
Karen Rodriguez’G currently serves as Interim Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, as well as the Program Director for the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI). She received her PhD in History from UIUC in 2015. Her research and teaching interests include the relationship between space and identity; imperial/global networks of knowledge; science, technology and empire; and emerging technologies and innovation in the practice and teaching of the humanities, social sciences and fine arts, particularly at the undergraduate level. In her positions with both OUR and EUI, she has partnered with UIUC’s Graduate College, CITL, and CITES/Digital Media to develop EUI multimedia courses and a humanities curriculum model, and an undergraduate apprenticeship program for first and second-year UIUC students.
Chris Holmes, Programs Coordinator
Chris Holmes currently serves as Programs Coordinator of the Office of Undergraduate Research as well as the co-director of the Animal Biology/AAP Summer Research Fellowship (ABSRF). Chris is a PhD candidate in the Department of Animal Biology where he studies the ecology of stormwater pond habitats. He received his M.S in Biology and B.S in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014 and 2011, respectively. As a professional, Chris aims to promote students' intrinsic motivation so as to drive self-exploration and the pursuit of knowledge. In his position with OUR, he has been involved with the development and implementation of several new programmatic initiatives such as the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, "In the Field" - a showcase of student research, Undergraduate Student Research Ambassadors, student research workshops, and expansion of the offices' social media reach. He also works to coordinate existing programs such as the Undergraduate Research Week, student grants, and the certificate program.
David Aristizabal, Graduate Research Assistant (Ethnography of the University Initiative)
David currently assists the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) with the development and coordination of its different programs. He joined the OUR team in 2016 and has contributed to the development of initiatives such as the Getting Started in Research Workshops. He also assists in the coordination of OUR’s course-based research program, the Ethnography of the University Initiative. David is a fourth-year PhD student in sociocultural anthropology where he studies the relationship between waste management, environmental policy, and broader processes of violence and marginalization in Colombia’s cities. In his position with OUR, David aims to inspire students to discover the amazing world of critical and creative inquiry. He is currently helping OUR with the development of a Writing in Research Workshop to help students gain important writing skills for communicating their research.
Ryan Evans, Programs & Curriculum Intern
Ryan Evans is a graduating senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Development. She entered her undergraduate career on the pre-medical track, and since then her love for research has grown from a start in her first Integrative Biology lab. She currently works under the supervision of Dr. Eva Pomerantz as a research assistant in the Center for Parent-Child Studies, focusing on their Early Math Learning Project. Upon graduation, Ryan hopes to pursue graduate study in School Psychology. For the Office of Undergraduate Research, she assists with program and curriculum development for several office initiatives.
Corissa Kurth, Social Media & Programs Intern
Corissa Kurth is an undergraduate studying Marketing in the Business Honors Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is involved with Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity, and plays on the Illinois Women’s club volleyball team. For the Office of Undergraduate Research she manages and promotes all social media accounts and is developing a social media marketing campaign.
Genesis Romo, Programs & Curriculum Intern
Genesis Romo is a third year undergraduate who is majoring in Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently involved in the Global Medical Training organization. She also serves as a Division of General Studies (DGS) leader and is an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Chemistry. For the Office of Undergraduate Research, she assists with program and curriculum development for several office initiatives.