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The Office of Undergraduate Research at York College was established in 2010.

Program History

The launch of Undergraduate Research Program at York College was first announced by then Provost Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith at the CUNY Academic Council on January 6th, 2010. Since September of that year the Office of Undergraduate Research had been housed in room 3E07b. The establishment of the Office of Undergraduate Research is in line with CUNY’s directive to promote student participation in experiential learning.

The charter Director of the program was Dr. Rishi Nath, then an Assistant Professor from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The Office of Undergraduate Research under his leadership inaugurated the Student Research Day which was held on April 15th, 2010. Henceforth, the event has been successfully organized drawing well over 150 participants each year. The event was visibly growing through the years; however, it was put on hiatus since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans are in place to hold the 11th offering of the event in April of 2024.

Dr. Nath held his directorship for 3 years and ensuing directors had hence occupied the post for a 3-year term. The current director of the Office of Undergraduate Research is Dr. Ruel Z. B. Desamero, a Chemistry Professor. He is ably assisted by an Advisory Board composed of faculty members from various departments.

Student Research Day

Every April, the Office of Undergraduate Research organizes Student Research Day to showcase the accomplishment of our undergraduate researchers and their faculty mentors. The undergraduate researchers present their findings through poster and panel presentations, art exhibits, and music or dance performances, among others.

Historically Student Research Day has hosted illustrious keynote speakers from diverse fields of interest. The inaugural Student Research Day was held on April 15th, 2010. In 2011, the 2nd Annual Student Research Day featured the keynote speaker Staceyann Chin, performer, and Co-writer of Russel Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, The Other Side of Paradise. In 2012, the 3rd Annual Student Research Day featured award-winning novelist Hari Kunzru, author of "Gods Without Men." The 4th Annual Research Day had Dr. Partha P. Mitra, Professor of Neuroscience and Theoretical Biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as our keynote speaker. The hallmark 5th Student Research Day showcased the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Charles Duhigg and former York College Provost Ivelaw Griffith. The following year featured science evangelist and author Dr. Ainissa Ramirez and event honoree Dr. Beth Rosenthal.

Participation in the annual celebration of undergraduate researchers and their mentors have grown from the inaugural 150 students to around 250 precentors.

The success of our undergraduate researchers depends on their faculty mentors. We invite faculty volunteers from all discplines to mentor our students.


Office staff

Director, Dr. Ruel Desamero

Staff Assistant, Rahnuma Afrin

Advisory board

Dawn Hewitt

Dr. Kathariya Mokrue

Dr. Thitima Srivatanakul

Dr. Lloyd Amaghionyeodiwe

Dr. Susan Letteney