Eric Albrecht wins 2023 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 1, 2023

Eric Albrecht, an associate professor of biology in the College of Science and Mathematics, was named the winner of the 2023 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor award, which was created by Kennesaw State University’s Office of Undergraduate Research in the spring of 2020. Albrecht is the fourth-ever faculty member to receive the accolade.

Eric Albrecht
Eric Albrecht

Albrecht said this award was important, encouraging, and validating to him, and he credited the award to the many students who spent thousands of hours with him in laboratories over the past 15 years. He said he was honored to be the first member of the College of Science and Mathematics to receive the award.

Albrecht has been a KSU faculty member since 2006, and 21 of his students have earned creditable undergraduate research awards, with two published in peer-reviewed journals. He wants to ensure students have outcomes that make their resumes stand out, such as conference presentations, networking with senior members in their field, publications and grants. Having these accolades on their resumes will make them better candidates for medical, dental or graduate school.

Part of his focus involves equipping students with the laboratory skills they need to succeed in their careers and to allow them to contribute to science even as undergraduates.

“I’m pretty much hands-on until I feel the students have the skill set to be successful,” said Albrecht.

Albrecht said the keys to being a good mentor are patience, creating a fun atmosphere, and communication. When students first come into the laboratory, they don’t have the experience to know what they’re doing, so guiding students through their learning is essential. 

Making sure all interactions aren’t strictly business is also important to a positive learning environment, as is communication because students are not only working in the lab but they also have their studies to attend to as well.

Tsai-Tien Tseng, associate director of undergraduate research, said that Albrecht’s emphasis on quality over quantity ensures that students are competitive externally for future training and employment opportunities.

Amy Buddie, director of undergraduate research, said Albrecht has been a stellar mentor. His lab students win awards, secure funding both internally and externally, and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Former students have said that out of all KSU faculty Albrecht made the most profound impact on them, and that they were inspired by Albrecht’s commitment and dedication.

— By Victoria Grace Tucker