The History and Achievements of CORE and at UW-Stout

The Creative Original Research Endeavors committee, originally known as the Committee  On Research Experiences (CORE), now known as the Creative Original Research Experiences committee, began with a small group of faculty committed to providing undergraduate research experiences for UW-Stout students. The history of CORE and accomplishments to date include:


Jane Anderson, Wan Bae, Jennifer Grant, John Kirk, and Sylvia Tiala represent UW-Stout at  the  UW-System Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research Conference at UW-Madison.  During the conference participants:
Shared results of pilot projects in data collection and progress to date
Formed subcommittees across campuses to tackle issues that included

  • impact of undergraduate research = how to measure
  • common measurements to report out across campuses
  • housing/communicating information across campuses

May 23 and 24
Desiree Budd, John Kirk, Sylvia Tiala, and Bob Zeidel represent UW-Stout at the UW-System Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research Conference  at UW-Stevens Point.  This is the first Growth Agenda-sponsored meeting from a 2 year award for 13 UW-System campuses. Facilitators led participants in identify commonalities in order to develop a UW System Coordinated Action Plan to:

  • Build community (among campuses) to provide a sound foundation for continued collaboration
  • Establish sustainability systems:  formalize a plan for an ongoing advisory group with representation from each campus

February 9 and 10 (NSF/CUR funded)
Wan Bae, John KIrk, and Sylvia Tiala represent UW-Stout at the UW System Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research Conference at the UW-Oshkosh campus.  CUR facilitators lead discussions exploring of areas of commonality lending to a UW-System action plan.

  • Working relationships established across campuses
  • Joint projects identified
  • Develop a coordinated action plan for campuses as a System

The year focused on building awareness and infrastructure to support undergraduate research.  UW-Stout applied for a UW-System Growth Agenda funding to continue its system-wide collaboration that began with NSF funding in 2011.  CORE members worked with the Research Office to refine and tweak goals from the 2011 CUR workshop and began working on the goals developed in the 5-year plan.  Core members met with the faculty senate regarding a resolution in support of undergraduate research and explored methods to identify undergraduate research efforts on campus.  Specific activities included:

January 2012
Wan Bae organized the CORE session for UW-Stout’s January Professional Development week with the workshop titled Promoting Undergraduate Research on the UW-Stout Campus.  The session included panel discussions related to

Culture and Institutional Change for Undergraduate Research: UW-Stout CEHHS Student Research Support Initiative.  
          Dr. Mary Hopkins-Best, Dean of College of Education, Health and Human Sciences
Business and Strategic Plans for Supporting Undergraduate Research at UW-Stout
          Dr. Abel Adekola, Dean of College of Management
Integrating Undergraduate Research into Classroom
          Dr. Susan Wolfgram, Associate Professor, Human Development & Family Studies
Experience with the NSF REU Grant Proposal
          Dr. Mattew Horak, Associate Professor, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science
          Dr. Alex Basyrov, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science
Report of the CUR Workshop on Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research for State Systems and Consortia
          Dr. Sylvia Tiala, Assistant Professor, School of Education
          Wan Bae, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science

February 23-25
John Kirk represents UW-Stout at CUR Dialogues in Washington, DC.

March 1, 2012
CORE’s 5-year Undergraduate Research Plan, developed at the 2011 CUR workshop in Eau Claire, was presented and discussed with CORE members, Provost Julie Furst-Bowe, and Sue Foxwell of Research services.  The Provost and Research Services reported on the status of undergraduate research at the campus.  Allocation of Customized Instruction dollars to faculty grants, conversion of one-time Research Services ATL allocations converted to base funding, faculty start-up funds, and other initiatives supporting undergraduate research were highlighted. Links to the specific documents can be found at the following links:

                            CORE Undergraduate Research 5-year Plan
                            Provost/Research Services Report to CORE

June 2012
Anne Hoel represents UW-Stout at the CUR Conference, Leveraging Uncertainty:  Toward a New Generation of Undergraduate Research, held at the College of New Jersey.  


CORE activities began in January of 2011 as 10 research leaders from the UW-Stout campus gathered to participate in a planning session to review recommendations from Beth Cunningham (Council on Undergraduate Research consultant) and generate five actionable items.  Participants also reviewed and identified best practices from sister UW-campuses.  Kat Lui ran the session and generated the Undergraduate Research Leaders Report linked here.


CUR Workshop Eau Claire 2011 Jennifer Grant, Abel Adekola, Sylvia Tiala and Wan Bae

Jennifer Grant, Abel Adekola, Sylvia Tiala, and Wan Bae attend the September 2011 CUR Workshop in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

The UW System was one of only three university systems in the nation to receive a Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Professional Development Grants award during the first round. This award enabled UW-Eau Claire to host nearly 60 faculty, academic staff and administrators representing each of the thirteen UW-System universities in September of 2011. The purpose of the workshop was to create specific action plans to improve the quality of undergraduate research at the campus level. In preparation for the workshop CORE members completed a self study and CUR Inventory relative to undergraduate research on UW-Stout's campus.  Links to the documents are below.


CORE Runnalls 500

The Nelva G. Runnalls Research Support Award was received by the CORE committee in April of 2010.

The Provost awarded the CORE committee the Nelva G. Runnalls Research Support award in April of 2010 to recognize their efforts toward promoting undergraduate research on the UW-Stout campus. 

In May, with leadership from Research Services and the UW-Eau Claire campus, UW-Stout became one of 13 UW-System campuses to apply for funding from the Council on Undergraduate Research's (CUR) Professional Development Grants program. The submitted proposal requested funding  for state-wide workshops aimed at institutionalizing undergraduate research across the UW-system.  CORE members helped respond to the new workshop proposal while preparing for a CUR consultant visit aimed at wrapping up CORE activities relative to the 2008 CUR workshop at Truman State.  

The Fall 2010 semester began with CORE receiving support for undergraduate research from the Stout Student Association.  


The Fall 2010 semester ended with a visit from the CUR consultant as a follow up to UW-Stout's participation in CUR's Central Regional Workshop held at Truman State.  A pre-visit letter sent by CORE to Beth Cunningham asked her to focus on specific areas related to undergraduate research efforts at UW-Stout.  This letter along with Cunningham's final report after the conclusion of her visit are below.


In April of 2009 the Committee on Research Experiences (CORE) is approved as an official committee at UW-Stout.  By April 13, 2009 the CORE acronym was changed to the Creative Original Research Experiences to reflect a broader definition of research.   The CORE committee prepares for a CUR consultant visit as a follow-up to the CUR workshop at Truman State University.  The following documents reflect CORE activities including a self-study outlining CORE's mission, goals and action plan:      


In January 2008 a subcommittee is developed to interview program directors to determine what research activities occur at UW-Stout. Subcommittee members Jeanne Rothaupt, Forrest Schultz and Susan Wolfgram compile interview questions and conduct face-to face interviews with program directors from February to May of 2008 resulting in the following document:

CORE's formal position paper defining and justifying undergraduate research at UW-Stout was the result of a May visit from the provost. The drafted position paper continues to provide direction to the CORE committee.

UW-Stout faculty and staff attend two Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) workshops.  CUR held its "Frontier and Challenges in Undergraduate Research" national conference on June 21-24 at the College of St. Benedict.The express purpose of the conference is to provide attendees with practices and ideas for institutionalizing undergraduate Research (UR). Desiree Budd (Psychology), Steve Deckelman (Math, Statistics and Computer Science), Susan McClelland, (Research Services), Richard Tafalla (Psychology), Sarah Wood (Psychology), and Robert Zeidel (Social Sciences) represent UW-Stout.  In addition, Richard Tafalla, Desiree Budd, Sarah Wood, and Steve Deckelman present a poster on their NSF funded program C-NERVE and Richard Tafalla and Susan McClelland presented a poster on the student research portal developed in Research Services. 

On October 24-26, 2008, Steven Deckelman, Amanda Little, Richard Tafalla and Robert Ziedel attend the CUR Central Regional Workshop held at Truman State University. The NSF funded workshop was designed to help campuses institutionalize undergraduate research (UR).Team members developed a vision statement and strategized about goals and objectives. Participation in this workshop includes support from CUR and a network of campuses as well as visits from CUR facilitators on campus. Formal recognition of a committee on the UW–Stout campus that continues the work of institutionalizing UR begins. The following report result from this meeting.



CUR hosts a July "Mentorship, Collaboration and Undergraduate Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities" workshop (http://www.cur.org/Newsletter/newsletter060407.htm) at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Steve Deckelman, Desiree Budd, and Richard Tafalla attended the workshop with the purpose of setting goals related to the undergraduate research enterprise at UW-Stout.  Three were proposed in that workshop included:

  • Establish a universal undergraduate research (UR) experience for all freshmen,
  • Establish a universal capstone experience in UR
  • Have 5-15% of students engage in independent research outside of the first-year UR experience and capstone experience.   

A grassroots Committee On Undergraduate Research, formed in the Fall of 2007, begins to address how to broadly define research in a fashion commensurate with a Polytechnic and to operationalize research in a manner that can guide UW-Stout's institutional objectives.  CORE subcommittees begin exploring ways to implement undergraduate research experiences.  Subcommittees focus on the following goals:

  • Establish a core group of research/teachers who are already dedicated to scholarly activity that engages undergraduates.
  • Determine how to increase the number of researcher/teachers on campus dedicated to the goal of scholarly activity that engages undergraduates.
  • Strategize how implement the three goals established at the summer 2007 CUR workshop. 



UW-Stout becomes a UW-System member of the Council on Undergraduate Research.  This is a national organization focusing on promoting and supporting high-quality, undergraduate, student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship activities(CUR). http://www.cur.org/