Dr. Sundeep Rayat, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, will serve as the Ball State University Faculty Fellow for Undergraduate Research. This role, created through Strategic Imperative Funding, provides a unified strategy for coordinating pan-campus research of undergraduate students, faculty and staff with a goal of helping students to continue on to advanced degrees.

Dr. Rayat has demonstrated a commitment to undergraduate research throughout her academic career. Here at Ball State, this commitment has included collaboration with undergraduate researchers in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program and in the Chemistry Research Immersion Summer Program (CRISP). Dr. Rayat has authored 16 peer-reviewed publications and currently is compiling a manuscript for submission with an undergraduate as the lead author, a point of pride and source of joy for Dr. Rayat in the midst of these very trying times.

One of the prerequisites for the Fellow position is a demonstrated ability to integrate scholarship, teaching and service. Dr. Rayat excels in meeting this requirement. Since her initial faculty appointment at Ball State University in 2012, Dr. Rayat has achieved funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Indiana Academy of Science (IAS), serving as the principal investigator on each of these awards. Of note, the NSF award, a cross-departmental effort, is an example of the type of pan-campus funding proposal Dr. Rayat will be responsible for coordinating as the Fellow.

As the Faculty Fellow, Dr. Rayat welcomes the responsibility of working with faculty, staff and students from across the campus through the Teacher-Scholar Program. This Provost-funded initiative enables first- and second-year students and transfer students in their first year to collaborate on projects within the scholarly agenda of their faculty or staff mentor. More details can be found here.

Dr. Rayat’s third responsibility is to work in partnership with the University Libraries on creating curricula to help undergraduate students develop research skills. Students who may not have had opportunities to work with a research mentor or to develop research skills, such as first-generation college students and students from under-resourced populations, are anticipated to see meaningful academic gains that can have life-long, transformative outcomes.

The role of the Faculty Fellow for Undergraduate Research will enable the Ball State University community to make meaningful progress on goals within the 2019-24 Strategic Plan and within the 2019-24 Inclusive Excellence Plan. Dr. Rayat brings Ball State-based experience and expertise to the role and looks forward to working as a partner in advancing the research mission of the university.