As a student, Professor Kelli Sharp received guidance from many mentors. In return, she feels very strongly that it is important to provide the same types of learning opportunities to the students she mentors. Professor Sharp particularly looks for students who are willing to approach the pursuit of discovery as an adventure. She finds that mentoring undergraduates continually inspires her to enhance her own skills. Professor Sharp was awarded the 2019 Chancellorís Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for the Claire Trevor School of the Arts in recognition of her passionate commitment to the students she mentors.

1. How did you develop an interest in mentoring undergraduate research or creative projects, and what type of projects have you directed?

Undergraduate mentoring became a pivotal part of my teaching due to many positive experiences I had with my mentors through my educational process. I have directed many different types of projects incompassing many different disciplines from the performing arts specifically dance to translational science projects.

2. What do you look for and what are your expectations of undergraduates you select to conduct research under your guidance?

As a mentor, I look for students who possess curiosity of learning, good communications skills, exceptional time management skills, and find exploring the unknowns of the arts and sciences as a fun academic adventure.

3. Describe your level of engagement and style in mentoring undergraduates.

Depends on the project and the student. I try to provide a scaffolding for the student to be as independent as they can be on their particular project, but create an open environment and availability to aid them in their journey.

4. In your experience, how have your students improved or benefited as a result of their undergraduate research experience?

In my experience, students gain a sense of independence, clear understanding how research can relate to their particular interest, provides them experiences to further enhance their other academic endeavors, and for many UROP-based projects provided pivotal experiences that led to future opportunities.

5. What have you learned or benefited from guiding undergraduate research or creative projects?

Being a mentor has provided me with renewed energy to keep mentoring and challenged me to enhance my skill sets to help provide our talented students with increased breath and knowledge.

6. What recommendations and advice would you give students embarking on undergraduate research or creative projects?

My biggest recommendation or advice for studentsí is always ask questions. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your mentor.

Research Interests: Injury prevention and wellness for dancers, rehabilitation strategies for neurological disorders, motion capture systems, functional magnetic resonance (fMRI)

Faculty Profile:


Past Faculty Mentors of the Month

Dec. '18 Judy Tzu-Chun Wu
Nov. '18 Justyna M. Sosna
Oct. '18 Chen Li
Sep. '18 Shahrdad Lotfipour
Aug. '18 Zoe Klemfuss
Jul. '18 Patrick Rafter
Jun. '18 Kelli Sharp
May. '18 Gilverto Q. Conchas
Apr. '18 Ozdal Boyraz
Mar. '18 Amal Alachkar
Feb. '18 Andrea Nicholas
Jan. '18 Wenqi Wang