Ted Tarkow, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Science and director of the Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program, talks lovingly of the hundreds of students he has watched blossom into successful researchers throughout the history of the twelve-year-old program, and he reminisces about how it all began: “A group of us had thought for quite some time that anything we could do for bright and talented undergraduates to show the interconnection between research and teaching would enrich their undergraduate program of study. We thought also that by taking highly productive faculty and having them be mentors of really bright students, their own research agendas would be enhanced.” That was the goal. It was a win-win proposition. And the results have been dramatic.An interview with Timothy Langen, Associate Professor of Russian
Serendipity led Tim Langen, Associate Professor of Russian, to his research field. A language requirement in college caught him at a crossroads; pondering the possibilities, he decided that “French, German, and Spanish seemed too familiar, and Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic maybe seemed too foreign. Russian seemed just distant enough and just close enough.” He soon discovered that he enjoyed studying the language and so decided to major in Russian history and literature, a combination that allowed him to connect two fields he cared about.