McDevitt Awarded 2010 Jr Faculty Outstanding Undergrad Research Mentor
Todd McDevitt, Ph.D., has been awarded the 2010 Junior Faculty Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from Georgia Institute of Technology. This award was developed to recognize an individual who has sustained outstanding achievement in mentoring undergraduates in research activities.
McDevitt has been an assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering Department since August of 2004, and since this time he has exhibited a sincere dedication for undergraduate research in many different ways. His passion for undergraduate research stems from the significant impact such an experience had on his own career path, as he had the opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate at Duke University. This experience led him to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. and ultimately landed him at Georgia Tech.
McDevitt has supervised more than 25 undergraduate researchers in his laboratory. Many of these students have presented at national meetings, co-authored peer-reviewed publications, and received numerous awards and honors for the research they conducted. McDevitt’s philosophy is to train undergraduates to be independent researchers with projects of their own and not to simply serve as an extra set of hands within the laboratory. Due largely to their experience working in the McDevitt laboratory, several undergraduates have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in engineering, science and medicine at leading international institutions. Notably, 3 of 3 eligible students who formerly worked in the McDevitt laboratory received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and are currently enrolled in top 10 Bioengineering graduate schools.
As a result, 13 students received one or more Georgia Tech Presidential Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) during their tenure with the McDevitt laboratory and 4 of those undergraduate students successfully wrote and received Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) grants for additional materials and supplies to support their research. Five students were selected for the Petit Undergraduate Research Scholars Program and 3 BME undergraduates were named Birnbaum Scholars--the most of any laboratory in the department since the inception of the award in 2006. In the spring of 2009, Scott Seaman, who worked in the McDevitt laboratory for nearly 2 years, received the Most Outstanding Researcher award from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and also the College of Engineering.
In addition to directly mentoring undergraduate students in his personal laboratory, McDevitt has been an active leader in several other facets of undergraduate research at Georgia Tech. For the past 3 years, he has voluntarily served as the faculty advisor for the Petit Undergraduate Research Scholars program. McDevitt has successfully reinvigorated the program by increasing the quality and quantity of undergraduate student applicants, as well as, the number of labs interested in mentoring students, in order to elevate the stature of the program. Additionally, with the help of the IBB staff, new mechanisms were implemented to track students’ progress and career development in order to quantify the outcomes of participation in the program.
For more information visit the McDevitt Lab - Engineering Stem Cell Technologies - www.mcdevitt.bme.gatech.edu