Dr. Wisco joined the faculty at UNCG in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Psychology Program. Since then, she has mentored many undergraduates—nearly 25 in her PSY 433: Research Experience in Psychology course alone.
The results of her mentorship speak for themselves. Three of her students have been awarded UNCG Undergraduate Research and Creativity Awards funding, four have worked with her on honors theses or independent research projects, and 10 have presented posters at major regional and national conferences. In one distinguished case, Dr. Wisco and a student collaboratively wrote and published an article in Cognition and Emotion (Normansell & Wisco, 2017), an important peer-reviewed journal in the behavioral sciences. Furthermore, her students have done well after leaving UNCG. Seven are in competitive, nationally prominent graduate programs.
In her teaching and research statement, Dr. Wisco remarked, “I am passionate about undergraduate research mentoring” and that she has consistently involved undergraduates in her research since joining UNCG. Her students are exposed to all stages of the research process, from the original conception of an idea to eventual dissemination of findings. Dr. Wisco’s receipt of an R15 grant from the National Institutes of Health, an award that aims to increase opportunities for student participation in research, reflects the high quality of her work and the unique training opportunity that her lab provides. One student wrote of Dr. Wisco, “She considers the individual interests of research assistants in her lab and supports them. Time is taken to ask students what experiences they hope to gain from working in the lab, what they wish to learn. Dr. Wisco makes those opportunities available.”
Another student wrote, “Dr. Wisco encourages her lab members to read and think critically about current literature, learn new skills, and develop their own research ideas” and that she has been “one of my biggest supporters as a budding scholar.” Students agree that their time with Dr. Wisco benefited them greatly and helped them become more confident and skillful researchers. One student noted that Dr. Wisco is a “life-long mentor and amazing ally.”
The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office at UNCG established this award to recognize faculty members who engage students in projects that contribute to the expansion of knowledge and understanding in their discipline, while demonstrating excellence and innovation in doing so. Dr. Blair Wisco has managed to do this in exemplary fashion, and we are honored to present her with the 2020 Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.