Dr. Valgene Dunham Award
|Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2012||Return to Archive|
During his tenure at WKU, Dr. Dunham was instrumental in creating opportunities for undergraduate research in the Department of Biology. Though we have come to take it for granted, as demonstrated by the hundreds of students participating in this year's conference, at that time it was very unusual for undergraduate students at WKU to engage in research, much less to receive course credit for doing so. Dr. Dunham, however, had a passion for integrating independent student research experiences into the science curriculum. Dr. Dunham truly believed that a research experience was pedagogical. In the late 1980s, this was a revolutionary viewpoint. His resilient push to incorporate a strong undergraduate research program into the molecular sciences is one of the main reasons why WKU is known for providing students with the critical-thinking and technical skills necessary to enter highly competitive graduate programs at Yale, John Hopkins, Berkeley, Vanderbilt, and other research institutions. Dr. Dunham's pioneering dedication to undergraduate research in biology helped to lay the foundation for similar opportunities across the WKU campus.