About Us

The Undergraduate Research & Creative Scholarship Program promotes, supports, and celebrates MSU Denver faculty and student engagement in undergraduate research activities. We help connect students with research and creative scholarship opportunities, support them through programming and grants, and showcase their accomplishments at the annual Undergraduate Research Conference. We offer programming to support faculty mentors and help connect them to resources to sustain their research / creative works with undergraduate students.

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Faculty Director of Undergraduate Research

Kristy L. Duran, PhD

Kristy L. Duran grew up in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. She earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico, M.S. in Neurobiology from Colorado State University, and Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. As an undergraduate student, she was fortunate to become involved in a variety of different research programs. She credits her undergraduate research experiences for starting her on her career path. Since then, she has been passionate about introducing undergraduate students to research, involving them in her research on the ecology of dwarf mistletoe, and encouraging them to develop their unique research ideas. She collaborated with undergraduate students on her research projects as faculty member at Colorado Mesa University and then at Adams State University. She is excited to join the MSU Denver team as the new Faculty Director of Undergraduate Research.

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Faculty Associate for Undergraduate Research

Mandi A. Schaeffer Fry, PhD

Mandi A. Schaeffer Fry is an associate professor of mathematics at MSU Denver. Her research is in the field of representation theory of finite groups, an area of theoretical mathematics. She is passionate about undergraduate research – she loves to introduce students to her area (and to mathematical research) through independent studies and undergraduate research projects. In her time at MSU Denver, she has mentored numerous students on independent studies and research projects, many resulting in presentations and/or publications. Dr. Mandi grew up in Peoria, AZ and earned her B.S. and Ph.D in Mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Michigan State University before finding her home at MSU Denver in 2014. She loves the students, faculty, and environment at MSU Denver, and counts herself extremely lucky to have found such a great place to share her enthusiasm for math and research! In her free time, Dr. Mandi is a competitive weightlifter and dabbles on the flying trapeze!

Contact Us

Please email us if you would like more information or to make an appointment, or drop by during our campus or virtual hours

[email protected]

Undergraduate Research & Creative Scholarship Program

Location: Jordan Student Success Building Rm 330J

Campus Hours: MWF 9:00-11:30am

Virtual Hours: TR 1:00-2:00pm


[email protected]