The Nancy Mergler Undergraduate Research Mentor award was given to Dr. Lloyd Bumm during the Faculty Tribute Award reception this past Thursday afternoon. Dr. Bumm’s students gave him a very strong nomination by detailing his commitment to individualized attention, guidance, and mentorship, his focus on nurturing their growth as scholars and students, and his encouragement for their reaching for opportunities, goals, and awards. Although the selection was based on the nominations, Dr. Susan Walden, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, believes the award “also serves as a recognition of [Dr. Bumm’s] history of undergraduate mentorship.”
Dr. Bumm, Associate Professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, received his B.S. degree in 1982 from Clarkson University and his Ph.D. in 1991 from Northwestern University. He enjoyed two Postdoctoral research positions and served as a Research Professor before coming to OU in 2001 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to an Associate Professor in 2007. A main focus of Lloyd’s research is to understand the electronic, and the optoelectronic characteristics of individual molecules: Can one build an electronic device from a single molecule?
It is unusual for a single faculty member to work with a large number of undergraduate students. Last year Lloyd supervised 9 undergraduates in an incredible variety of research projects which included: Growing gold nanorods, using Matlab to interface Ocean Optics for photoluminescence spectroscopy, building an Ethernet bridge, interfacing photodiode detectors with Matlab, reducing noise from trace-retrace image pairs, designing a nitrogen purged palm wrench, determining ways plasmon mediates growth, understanding bimodal histograms for scanning tunnel microscope images, and measuring the extent of oxidation of decanethiol.
The undergraduate students working with Professor Bumm quickly come to the knowledge that he cares very deeply about their research projects. He provides guidance and encouragement from start to finish. He is characterized as having considerable patience. His feedback in student presentations is thorough and specific. His praise for success is sincere and meaningful. He challenges undergraduate researchers to explore many facets of their research and guides them in developing a deep understanding of the research. His former undergraduate students are grateful for the ways he was able to mentor them throughout their time at OU.
The award, given by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Office of the Vice-President for Research, recognizes faculty excellence in supporting undergraduate researchers. The award is named after Provost Nancy Mergler, who initiated Undergraduate Research Day, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and the core Honors curriculum when she was director of OU’s Honors Program from 1988-1994. More details of the award can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Research website by clicking here.