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Jane Lehr to Serve as Founding Director of Newly Formed Office of Student Research

Jane Lehr, professor in the departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies, will serve as founding director of the newly formed Office of Student Research in the Office of Research and Economic Development. 

In her new role, Lehr will focus on increasing the transparency of access to research opportunities, supporting the professional development of both student researchers and research mentors, and increasing the submission and success of grant proposals that integrate student researchers, among other responsibilities. 

Lehr is also affiliated faculty in the Center for Engineering, Science & Mathematics Education (CESAME); the department of Computer Science & Software Engineering; and the Science, Technology & Society Program. She will continue in these roles as she serves as director of the Office of Student Research on a half-time basis.

During her time at Cal Poly, Lehr’s work has focused on educational equity, including substantial activity designed to increase access to inclusive and equitable experiences in undergraduate research across campus. As director of the California State University Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CSU-LSAMP) in STEM Program at Cal Poly and in partnership with BEACoN Research Mentors and other campus entities, she has worked closely with students, faculty, and staff across the university to make progress toward this goal. More recently, Jane has engaged in new partnerships designed to provide support for Cal Poly graduate students entering research both as mentees and mentors.

“These experiences have given Jane a deep understanding and respect for the existing research activities of each college and an awareness of their strengths and nuances,” Renee Reijo Pera, Vice President of Research and Economic Development, said.

Lehr has also collaborated with the Office of Research to better understand the landscape of undergraduate research at Cal Poly, identify how inequities in access and experience might emerge for students, and explore how the Office of Student Research might enhance existing efforts of colleges and departments to address this issue.

“I am excited to have Jane continue her work with our office after so many years of successful collaboration,” Pera said. “I know she will build an Office of Student Research that will be of tremendous benefit to our campus community.”

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