OURMA Staff - University of Houston
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OURMA Staff

  • 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, he regularly teaches the honors section of the 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

    Director,
    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.

  • Rikki Bettinger

    Associate Director, Mellon Research Scholars Program

    Program Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards

    As the associate director of the Mellon Research Scholars program, Rikki 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 the Senior Honors Thesis program. She received her doctorate in Latin American history from the University of Houston in 2018. She specializes in 19th 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's degree in political science and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and is currently pursuing a master's 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 2021 graduate of the University of Houston. She recently earned her Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and Bachelor of Arts in political science. A member of the Honors College and FrameWorks Fellow, she has participated in OURMA programs as a Mellon Research Scholar and former HERE participant. As such, 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 doctorate in philosophy.

  • Verónica Ordóñez

    Student Worker, Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards

    Verónica Ordóñez is a 2021 graduate of the University of Houston. She recently earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in dance, all the while a member of the Honors College. During her last two years, Verónica completed research projects with OURMA, including her Mellon Scholars project, which was chosen to present at Texas Undergraduate Research Day, and her Senior Honors Thesis, which is nominated for the Outstanding Thesis Award. Verónica assists with programming and communications for the SURF program and provides administrative support for OURMA. She is currently working on a dance-technology integrative performance born out of her Mellon Scholars research, in collaboration with the UH School of Theatre & Dance and the UH Brain-Machine Interface Lab, which will be performed at the Kennedy Center in April 2022. She plans to continue her interdisciplinary research in the future as she pursues a graduate degree in the arts.