Research has taught Psychology Professor Richard Siegel many things over the course of his almost 50-year career — including how essential it is for his students to conduct their own hands-on research.
To make sure they have that opportunity, Siegel, who is chair of the Department of Psychology, recently endowed a fund that will provide support for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing faculty-supervised research.
“As a department, we’re increasingly emphasizing the science of psychology,” he says. “We’re encouraging our students to engage in scientific research, whether by assisting faculty members or pursuing their own programs of research.”
Such research necessarily involves expenses, putting it out of reach for many students. Siegel hopes the research fund will increase the department’s capacity to support not only its students’ research, but also their travel to professional conferences to present their findings.
“The university has been very good to me and I felt it was important to give back,” says Siegel, who began teaching at UMass Lowell in 1968. In the early 1980s, he hired a promising young adjunct to teach a few psychology courses. Today that adjunct is chancellor of UMass Lowell. Siegel says his decision to endow the research fund now was partly to honor Chancellor Jacquie Moloney — and to inspire other faculty members to consider endowing their own funds.
Endowed funds will be a cornerstone of Our Legacy, Our Place: The Campaign for UMass Lowell, which will have its public launch later this month. Since FY 2011, the university has stewarded the creation of 181 new endowed funds, bringing the total number to 448 and the endowment total to $82.4 million.