Julio J. Ramirez has been chosen as the 2017 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee. Ramirez was selected from among 11 finalists nationwide.
Ramirez, who is the R. Stuart Dickson Professor and chair of the Psychology Department, was recognized for his high-quality research and publications, his mentoring of more than 140 undergraduates and 10 Goldwater Scholars, and his work to enhance the mentoring skills of faculty members and students. An American Psychological Association Fellow, he is a past Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
"The Foundation is pleased to be partnering with CUR to celebrate teaching and mentoring excellence like that exhibited by Davidson College's Dr. Ramirez," said John Mateja, president of the Goldwater Foundation. "For students who are fortunate enough to encounter and work with him, Dr. Ramirez is a guiding light for them into graduate school and throughout their professional careers. He is a model for all of us who work with students."
"My passion for seeing students get excited about the scientific process and achieve success in their pursuit of further education remains unabated," Ramirez said. "I look forward to continuing to have a role in transforming students' lives and opening doors to a productive future."
This latest honor follows national recognition for his mentoring and teaching, including the 2011 Award for Education in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN)–he was the first-ever undergraduate educator to receive the award. For his work toward the advancement of women in neuroscience, in 2015 Ramirez became the first liberal arts college professor to receive the Bernice Grafstein Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Mentoring from the Society for Neuroscience.
"Dr. Ramirez pursues life-changing research in neuroplasticity and engages his students as collaborators, offering unparalleled experience and opportunity for discovery," said Davidson College President Carol Quillen. "His work, as a scholar and mentor, exemplifies how Davidson prepares students for lives of leadership, impact and service to something larger than themselves."
Neuroscience research draws on a wide range of expertise in multiple disciplines, from engineering and computation to cell and systems biology to clinical medicine. According to a report by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a diverse neuroscience workforce will contribute to neuroscience research generally and be a potent factor in reducing health disparities.
"Dr. Ramirez's remarkable achievements over the last 30 years reflect his work as a world-class neuroscientist, as well as his deep mentorship and curricular redesign efforts needed to support the education and training of the next generation of researchers," said CUR Executive Officer Elizabeth Ambos.
The award, which consists of a plaque and $5,000 for the awardee's research program and/or undergraduate researchers, will be presented at an April 7 reception during CUR's National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Memphis.
The Council on Undergraduate Research (www.cur.org) supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Over 700 institutions and more than 10,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.
By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is helping ensure that the United States is producing the number of highly qualified professionals the nation needs in these critical fields.