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Furman professor receives Mentor of Year award from Council on Undergraduate Research

Andersen has helped mentor more than 300 undergraduate students in research experiences over his 23 years at Furman.

Brannon Andersen, professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Furman University, has received the 2017 Geosciences Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).

The award is given annually to an individual who serves as a role model for productive and transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships and who maintains a sustained and innovative approach to the enterprise of undergraduate research.

Andersen, who has helped mentor more than 300 undergraduate students in research experiences over his 23 years at Furman, will officially receive the award at the Geological Society of America meeting in Seattle in late October.

According to CUR officials, Andersen “embodies longstanding excellence in and commitment to ‘teaching through research’ by embedding research in the curriculum” and also “champions that the student experience is central in learning.”

Dr. Andersen has been chair of the Earth and Environmental Sciences department since 2009.

Andersen, who joined the Furman faculty in 1994, is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a master’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. He is trained in geology, but has transitioned into an environmental scientist with a focus on biogeochemistry and sustainability science.

He has helped lead the River Basin Research Initiative in Upstate South Carolina, where more than 250 national and international students have studied rural and urban watershed interaction. Under his guidance, students have been co-authors on meeting presentations and on peer-reviewed publications.

Andersen has been awarded over $2 million in grant funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture to support undergraduate research. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for teaching and research at the University of Zadar in Croatia during the 2014-15 academic year.

Andersen has been chair of Furman’s Earth and Environmental Sciences department since 2009. His honors include being named the Henry and Ellen Townes Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences (1998-2000), the Association of Furman Students Faculty Member of the Year (2003-2004), a South Carolina Independent Universities and Colleges Teacher of Excellence (2008), and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor (2010).

He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Clemson University and an associate editor for the journal Environmental Geosciences.

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107 and vince.moore@furman.edu.

The Council on Undergraduate Research (www.cur.org) supports faculty and student development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research, scholarship, and creative activities. More than 700 institutions and more than 13,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.

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