April 23, 2013

Undergraduate research center director named

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Rodrigo Carramiñana, an associate professor at St. Augustine College in Chicago, will become the director of the Center for Undergraduate Research at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Carramiñana will begin his duties July 1. 

The Center for Undergraduate Research will help coordinate and bring together the following programs and units: Undergraduate Assistantships, Students Promoting Education and Research (SPEAR), Research Enriched Academic Challenge (REACH), McNair Scholars Program, Saluki Research Rookies, and the Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.

“Our undergraduate research programs are very successful and create a strong foundation for this new center,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.  “Dr. Carraminana brings extensive research, teaching and administrative experience to the position, and he shares our commitment to student success.”

Carramiñana will be the undergraduate research center’s first director. SIU Carbondale is a regional research University “committed to high quality research and instruction to serve the region and state,” with a commitment to support its students in their college development, he said.

“I share the philosophy of SIU that there is no contradiction between access and excellence,” he said.

The director will be responsible for a variety of areas that include strategic planning and program development; advising students and coordinating faculty mentors; organizing and implementing undergraduate research-related forums, seminars, institutes, research opportunity programs, awards competitions and informational sources; and also support continuing recruiting and retention efforts.

Undergraduate research is a means for students to advance in their professional careers or better prepare themselves for graduate school, and SIU Carbondale offers everything for students to reach those goals, Carramiñana said.

“One of my aims is to have the necessary resources to allow any student interested in undergraduate research to successfully engage in it at SIU,” he said.  “I envision undergraduate research as an across-the-curriculum activity, therefore, the Center for Undergraduate Research will be a University-wide activity.”

Carramiñana’s varied teaching and academic experience includes his current position as principal investigator for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and National Science Foundation grant at St. Augustine College. He is also a visiting scholar in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).

Carramiñana earned his doctorate in Mathematics in 1993, and master’s degree in Science, in 1984, both from the University of Iowa.  He earned the equivalent of a master’s degree in Mathematics from the Technical University of Chile in 1977, and was an undergraduate student at the University of Chile from 1971 to 1973, earning the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree there.

Carramiñana has also held teaching or research positions at the Universidad Federico Santa Maria in Valparaiso, Chile; the Center for Mathematics Education of Latinos/as at UIC; Rhode Island College; Northwest Missouri State University, and the University of Iowa.  He was also in various teaching positions in Chile from 1972 to 1980.

Carramiñana’s experience also includes serving as director of the Rafael Cintron-Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at UIC from 1994 to 2009.  He was co-director and co-principal investigator for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation at UIC from 2003 to 2010.  He was a fellow in the Academic Leadership Program at the Committee of Institutional Cooperation, and also in the Hispanic Leadership Development Forum, American Council on Education and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

Carramiñana is also involved with the community-at-large in Chicago, particularly with the Latino community. He has been a board member in many organizations, and is currently treasurer of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, the organization that produces one of the largest Latino film festivals of the world.