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Office of Undergraduate Research

New Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research

Dr. Griff Tester, Associate Professor in the Sociology Department, has been named the new Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR).

Dr. Tester served as the Interim Director of the OUR for the 2017-18 academic year; his experience and desire to help students be successful in their research was invaluable in that capacity, and will be equally invaluable as he assumes his three-year term beginning on September 15th, 2018.

Griff believes that engaging with faculty research and creative and professional activities is a form of experiential learning that moves beyond the classroom. It deepens students' knowledge and furthers the intellectual life of the campus community. His vision of the OUR over the next three years is "to continue fostering students' intellectual, professional and personal advancement; enhance faculty teaching and research, scholarly and creative experiences and outcomes; and enrich CWU's curriculum and community of scholars and build the university's relationships with alumni and the local community."

Griff joined Central Washington University in 2014, specializing in aging, sexualities, and urban and community sociology. During his time at CWU, he has published in two peer reviewed journals, contributed to textbook chapters, and has received multiple grants for continued research in his field. Most recently, Dr. Tester has collaborated on two technical reports; one for Community Health of Central Washington on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Knowledge and Attitudes Among Yakima and Kittitas County Primary Care Providers, and the other for CWU on Student Sexual Health and the Utilization of Health Services.

Undergraduate research and creative expression have grown significantly since the office was first established in 2005, particularly evident in the expansion of SOURCE (Symposium On University Research and Creative Expression) as a venue for student presentations. Dr. Tester aspires to continue this growth as well as enhancing the quality and professionalism of the undergraduate research experience at Central.

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