Northern Arizona University’s strong reputation for providing hands-on research opportunities to its undergraduate students is about to gain some new vigor.

Jani Ingram, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, recently was elected to a three-year term on the Council on Undergraduate Research, a national grassroots organization that supports and promotes high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.

Ingram said her new role will “provide more exposure for all the undergraduate research done at NAU and insights as to how we can strengthen our undergraduate research programs.”

Ingram will attend her first meeting with the council in June when she will learn more about her specific charge, but said one of her key goals is to gain perspectives into new ways of involving undergrads from diverse backgrounds in research.

“I am hoping that there will be more opportunities for minority students to be involved in undergraduate research, particularly early on in their college careers,” she said. “It is the younger students who are deciding on their career paths, and research provides a window for them to see the many opportunities that are open to them.”

Laura Huenneke, dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, called the news a “noteworthy recognition for Jani Ingram and something that will bring the university greater distinction in terms of our record with undergraduate research.”