Announcing the 2021-2022 Central Undergraduate Research Board

The Office of High-Impact Practices is pleased to introduce you to the 2021-2022 Central Undergraduate Research Board (CURB).UCO students on CURB serve as an advisory board for undergraduate research programs, and have been chosen for their research, creative, and scholarly activity experience and their vision for undergraduate research at UCO. Dr. Michael Springer, professor of History and Director of the Office of High-Impact Practices added “we are excited to work with this group of leaders, whose members have great ideas about how to support and expand undergraduate research opportunities at UCO.” Board members also serve as peer mentors, so if you want to learn more about opportunities please reach out to them.

Here are the 2021-2022 board members!


Prash Bajracharya (

I am a Junior in Economics major. This is my second year as a Research Assistant. Both of my research topics are relative to international trade. Through research, I have been able to explore topics that I am naturally interested in. Over my last two years here at UCO, it has helped me realize my passion for international development and global sustainability. Working on these research projects has not only helped me in my academic profile but has also been pivotal in defining my individuality.



Farnam Bassendeh (

My name is Farnam Bassandeh, I’m a data science major, my current research interest is in the realm of energy economics. I got involved in undergraduate research because I really enjoy applying my skills to help me deepen my understanding of subjects that I find interesting. Getting involved in undergraduate research helps me develop the skills I need to further my academic career and gives me a great opportunity to meet very interesting people.


Dakota Middick (

Hello! My name is Dakota Middick, and I am a Mechanical Engineering major. I love math, and am fascinated by computational applications therein. I got involved in undergraduate research to maximize my experience here at UCO and make new friends that share my same passions and interests. It’s been a blast, a challenge, and a blessing, and I hope every student finds their place for scholarly and creative pursuits in their collegiate careers!


Amarachukwu Oti (

Hello! My name is Amarachukwu Oti. I am a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering with a minor in French. I have always been curious about regeneration and how different organs ‘heal’, so when I heard there was an opportunity to work with one of the professors on campus, I was more than happy to take the opportunity, and I am so glad I did. Working as a research assistant provides the opportunity to see a lot of in-class concepts in a practical setting. Research has made me more confident and has taught me how to think critically and seek solutions to problems actively. I have also acquired lab skills which will definitely come in handy as I go along. I’ve made great friends, and learned so much in a short time. I’m always grateful for all of it and look forward to helping others who are interested in research find what best suits them.


Faezeh Soltani (

Hello! My name is Faezeh Soltani but I go by Niloofar which means lotus in Persian! I am a junior majoring in biomedical science. I am an international student and UCO has been my second home since 2020 that I moved from Hungary to the US. I started my journey as an undergrad researcher at UCO by shadowing my mentor and learned a lot just from observing different experiences. I applied for the RCSA grant at the end of my sophomore year. This grant gave me an opportunity to be even more involved in research and work on my own research project. I enjoy doing research because it fosters my critical thinking and allows me to understand experiments better through hands-on experiences.


Kali Tevis (

Hi, I am Kali, and I am an International Business and Economics double major within the College of Business here at UCO. My first semester at UCO my Principles of Microeconomics instructor mentioned the RSCA Grant Program to students and, to be honest, I didn’t feel smart enough to consider it -even though it piqued my interest. As I gained more discipline-based knowledge and dove further into my studies I learned not only how compassionate the instructors are, but that I was smart enough! This has been an invaluable opportunity, one that I am thrilled to have had my instructors encourage me to take a part of. It has provided mentoring based experience, expanded, and fine-tuned research skills, and helped me begin to build a network among my fellow peers. Throughout my education at the university, I have had help and guidance from others and really feel as though I now have a knowledge base and experience to pass onto others and can pay it forward, that is why I got involved. I feel a bit silly not realizing I could have done this my first semester by simply asking for guidance! Studying bees is a bonus.😊


Hannah Tran (

I’m a biomedical sciences major with minors in chemistry and Spanish as well as a premed student with a goal to go to medical school and become a physician/surgeon. Besides the great importance research has to my path to medicine, I began undergraduate researching due to my interest in science, the discovery of the new, and how it can benefit the world. Through undergraduate research have I been able to experience a variety of different skills as well as work with various faculty mentors, with my current research working with cancer cells. It has been a life-changing experience and without undergraduate research, I would not have been able to become the person and student I am today, of which I owe my gratitude to undergraduate research for not only allowing me to improve my community, university, and the world but myself as well.

Dr. Springer is a professor of History and faculty director of the Office of High-Impact Practices at UCO.