Why Support Undergraduate Research?
There are numerous educational benefits to doing research. Students learn to work collaboratively with a faculty mentor; sharpen their problem-solving skills; learn about current issues, methods, and leaders in their chosen field(s); and apply concepts learned in the classroom to "real life" situations. Of particular benefit to them on a professional level are the opportunities to explore potential careers, improve their communication skills, and learn how to work effectively as part of a team. All of these things allow the student to grow as a critical and independent thinker, build confidence and independence, and increase awareness of ethical issues. As a result, the student will be well prepared to enter the workplace or to attend graduate and other professional schools.
As a major research university, UNH provides all students with the unique and valuable opportunity to conduct research and collaborate with faculty experts during their undergraduate years.
UNH's Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research provides the resources and financial support for the research, scholarly and creative projects of UNH students. Whether it's investigating moose habitat, examining the effects of the European monetary union, or composing music for a theater production, each year students from all fields of study receive grants to embark on their own explorations. The Center also supports international undergraduate research and helps students share their research findings widely, within and beyond the University. Currently, 100% of the funding for undergraduate research awards and fellowships comes from donor gifts.
The Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research thrives with the support of individuals and families who have generously established endowments that nurture the intellectual curiosity of our undergraduates of today, and those of the future. Currently, 100% of the funding for undergraduate research awards and fellowships comes from donor gifts.
Dana A. Hamel
The Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research was established by the University of New Hampshire Foundation, Inc. through the generosity of Dana A. and his late wife Kathryn Poore Hamel, long-time friends and benefactors of the University of New Hampshire. Dana currently resides in North Palm Beach, Florida, and spends summers in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire.
He received an A.B. in economics from Harvard College in 1952 and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1954. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Corps, worked for Dow Chemical, and managed investments, before co-founding Penn Corporation in 1964. He was chairman of the Princeton, New Jersey, consumer products company until it was sold in 1987. Dana has served on the UNH Foundation Board of Directors and its Investment and Finance Committee since 1998. Kay graduated from Lasell College in 1949. She served as an overseer at Lasell College and on the Advisory Council of the New England Historical Genealogical Society. Dana and Kay have two sons, David and Douglas, and a daughter, Karen.
Dana Hamel, with his second wife Karol, continues to support higher education and to hold the belief that the University of New Hampshire will play a dominant role in determining New Hampshire’s political, cultural and economic future. In recognition of his philanthropic work, in 2012 Dana Hamel was awarded the UNH Foundation's Hubbard Award.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Endowments
Professor Balomenos Fund for Undergraduate Research
Established through the generosity of Shaula Balomenos Levenson ‘76 and Dana S Levenson, in memory of Mrs. Levenson’s father, Richard H. Balomenos, and in honor of his years of service to UNH. Professor Balomenos had a profound influence on mathematics education in the State of New Hampshire. His tenure at UNH began in 1961 with a dual role as assistant professor at UNH and math teacher at Oyster River High School. Although he was serving as Chair of the Math Department at the time of his sudden death in 1986, he never lost his enthusiasm for teaching in the classroom. This fund supports undergraduate research in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, with preference given to students conducting research in the areas of Mathematics and Math Education.
Eric Wilkes Bell Memorial Award
Established with gifts from Eric’s family and friends, this fund assists natural resources undergraduates who pursue research in the fields of environmental conservation, including soil conservation, water resource management, forestry and wildlife management. Read how the Bell Memorial Fund helped Dan Turaj go on a "laboratory safari."
Class of 1959 Fund for Excellence
First established in 1984 with a gift from the Class of 1959, their spouses, and friends, this fund was rededicated to the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research in 2007 with the purpose of helping students enhance their undergraduate experience by engaging in research. Amanda Bellerose and Thaddaeus Webster received funding for their summer 2008 projects from the Class of 1959.
Class of 1962 Student Enrichment Fund
This fund was established by members of the UNH Class of 1962 in celebration of their fiftieth reunion in 2012. The fund provides financial assistance to students participating in a University research project through the Hamel Center.
Cogswell Honors Program/UROP Endowment Fund
Established through the generosity of alumni and friends of UNH and a matching grant from the Cogswell Benevolent Trust, this fund provides support for undergraduate research fellowships and awards.
Patricia M. Flowers ’45 Scholarship Fund
Established in 2009 through the generosity of Patricia Moulton Flowers, who graduated from UNH in 1945 with a degree in Secretarial Studies, this fund supports undergraduates participating in a research project through the Hamel Center.
J. Raymond Hepler Endowed Fund
Established in memory of former UNH Professor of Horticulture, J.R. Hepler, through the generosity of his daughter, Helen Hepler Clapp ’39. The fund provides financial support for undergraduate research opportunities for students enrolled in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.
Elizabeth Lunt Knowles Fund
Created with gifts from Elizabeth Lunt Knowles, this fund supports and promotes achievement and excellence in undergraduate education, especially for students in the College of Liberal Arts. Read how the Knowles Fund supported English major Elizabeth Keane in her quest to discover the literary roots of her family history on Ireland’s Aran Islands.
Occupational Therapy 50th Anniversary Endowment for Undergraduate Research
This fund was established with gifts from alumni, friends, and corporations in celebration of the 50th anniversary of UNH’s Department of Occupational Therapy. The fund encourages and assists UNH students to engage in research and grow as occupational therapy practitioners and scholars.
Dorothy Perkins O'Neil '42 Endowed Fund
Established through the generosity of Mrs. Dorothy Perkins O’Neil ’42, this fund supports undergraduates pursuing research in the field of human nutrition. Read about O’Neil Fund recipient Heather Moher, whose on-campus research grew into an IROP grant.
Arthur and Cynthia Rand Undergraduate Research Fund
Established through the generosity of Arthur (Garth) Rand ’58, and Cynthia Pollard Rand ’58, to provide financial assistance to encourage undergraduate research that will improve the environment and protect natural resources.
Rogers Family Undergraduate Research Fund
The Rogers Family Foundation established this fund to encourage liberal arts undergraduates to participate in research. Read how the Rogers Family Fund helped anthropology graduate Jesse McEntee to explore Pakistani culture in Manchester, N.H.
UNH Parents Association Undergraduate Research Opportunities Endowment
Established by a gift from the UNH Parents Fund, this endowment underwrites at least one Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship annually.
Donald James Wilcox Endowed Fellowship Fund
Created with a generous gift from Kenneth R. Manning, friend and colleague to Professor Wilcox, this fund promotes undergraduate research in historical topics. Read how the Wilcox Fund supported history graduate Andrew Case as he traced the history of Route 93 through New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch.
International Research Opportunities Program (IROP) Endowments
John and Marjorie Beyersdorf Fund for International Research
Established through the generosity of John P. Beyersdorf '57 and Marjorie McCausland Beyersdorf, this fund supports undergraduate participation in a University-approved international research experience.
Class of 1952 International Research Fund
Established by the Class of 1952 in celebration of their 50th reunion, the fund provides financial assistance for undergraduates who participate in a University-approved international research experience.
Frank R. and Patricia S. Noonan International Research Fund
Established through the generosity of Frank R. Noonan '64, and Patricia S. Noonan, the fund provides financial assistance for undergraduates to participate in a University-approved international research experience through the International Research Opportunities Program. Read how the Noonan Fund provided a life-changing experience for anthropology graduate Jessie Wallner.
"Today when I visit campus, I see so much happening, so much potential. You have to be impressed by what students can accomplish here today; it makes me want to come back to study." -- Frank Noonan, friend of IROP, pictured here with Patricia Noonan (left) and Ralitsa Mintcheva, '03, Business Administration
Margaret (Clarke '68) Norman International Research Fund
Established in 2021 through the generosity of Margaret (Clarke) Norman, who graduated from UNH in 1968, this fund supports undergraduates participating in a University-approved international research experience.
Samuel N. and Sarah A. Paul International Research Fund
This fund was established through the generosity of Samuel N. Paul ’60, and Sarah Anthony Paul ’60, to provide financial assistance for UNH undergraduates who participate in a University-approved international research experience. Read how the Paul Fund helped mechanical engineering graduate Angela Pelletier follow her interest in wave mechanics across "the Pond" to Scotland.
Robert G. Wakefield International Research Fund
This fund was established with a bequest from Charlotte R. Wakefield in loving memory of her husband, Robert. It supports international research opportunities for UNH students.