OURMA Staff - University of Houston
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  • Stuart Long

    Associate Dean
    Undergraduate Research and the Honors College

    Stuart Long is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research and the Honors College and is the academic advisor for all Honors students majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Additionally, Dr. Long regularly teaches the honors section of undergraduate introductory course in electromagnetic waves.  He has mentored over 90 undergraduate students in his research during his 44-year career at the University of Houston.  He holds a doctorate in applied physics from Harvard University, and his research involves antenna design, wireless communications, and applied electromagnetics. 

  • Ben Rayder

    Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards

    Ben Rayder is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Honors College and the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards. Prior to joining the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards in 2017, he worked as the Assistant Director in the Fellowships Office at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Ben holds a doctorate in Comparative Politics from the University of Bamberg and a Master’s in Modern European Studies from the University College London. He earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science and German from the College of the Holy Cross.

  • Brittni MacLeod

    Associate Director,
    Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards

    Dr. MacLeod manages the daily functions of the Office and coordinates faculty-mentored undergraduate research programs for the University. Brittni holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Research, a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is also a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. Undergraduate students interested in conducting research at the University of Houston should contact Brittni for information on how to get involved, as well as how to apply for the SURF, PURS, ARC, and Senior Honors Thesis programs. Questions about Undergraduate Research Day, the Undergraduate Research Travel Fellowship, and Undergraduate Research Mentor Awards may also be directed to Dr. MacLeod.

  • Rikki Bettinger

    Associate Director, Mellon Research Scholars Program

    Program Manager, Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards

    As the Associate Director of the Mellon Research Scholars Program, Dr. Bettinger works directly with the Mellon Scholars as they conduct individual research projects in the humanities and apply to competitive graduate programs. She also coordinates the Houston Early Research Experience (HERE) program and teaches the ePortfolio class. Dr. Bettinger received her doctorate in Latin American History from the University of Houston in 2018. She specializes in nineteenth-century transnational Latin American and Caribbean women’s histories with an emphasis on travel writings in the Americas. She also completed a Master’s degree in History at the University of Texas at San Antonio and holds a Bachelor’s degree in History Secondary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she taught high school history in San Antonio.

  • Nimra Zubair

    Nimra Zubair

    Graduate Advisor,  Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards

    Nimra is the graduate advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards. She has applied to awards such as the Boren Awards, Fulbright Program, and was most recently awarded the Critical Language Scholarship to study Punjabi.

    She works closely with students to match them with various opportunities. Additionally, she manages social media platforms. Nimra holds a Bachelor of Political Science and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration. Students interested in applying to major awards or connecting with research opportunities should contact her for more information.

  • Paulina Ezquerra

    Student Worker, Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards

    Paulina Ezquerra is a senior at the University of Houston. A member of the Honors College, she is double-majoring in the fields of philosophy and political science. A Mellon Research Scholar, Frameworks Fellow, and former HERE participant, Ezquerra knows firsthand the difference co-curricular programs can make for young researchers. Ezquerra assists with programming and recruitment for the Mellon Research Scholars program and provides administrative support for OURMA. Ezquerra plans to continue researching the cultivation of moral and intellectual virtues by pursuing a PhD in philosophy.