Councilor – Erin Kraal

GeoCUR Councilor Erin KraalErin is at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.  She began serving as a councilor in 2011.

I was lucky to have a series of great undergraduate research experience when I was in college that helped shaped my scientific, personal, and world view. Now that I am a professor, I view undergraduate research as a critical component of education. It is where all of the most important skills – critical thinking, writing, working in groups, managing long term projects – all comes together. The experiences of undergraduate research transition students out of the classroom and into the field – the field of science! At Kutztown University many of our students are first generation college student and first generation scientists – undergraduate research is vital to help them see the world of science, industry, and research that they are becoming a part of. As a faculty member and CUR councilor, I focus on opportunities to bring under represented or disadvantaged groups into the undergraduate research experience and how other activities, like seminars, speciality dorm floors, and ‘soft skills’ workshops can help our students be more successful both in undergraduate research and their education and careers.

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