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Meet the Staff

Learn more about the Office of Undergraduate Research's leadership and staff members.


  • David Artis

    David Artis

    David Artis, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Research Advancement, came to the Office of Undergraduate Research (formerly known as Academic Enrichment Programs or AEP) in November 2000, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There he had served as a faculty member, graduate school administrator and Director of Academic Services in the School of Public Health.

    At UC San Diego, he has overseen steady growth in the number of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR)'s programs and services, including coordinating more scholarship opportunities for students in all fields, increased participation in OUR-sponsored undergraduate research conferences, and more collaborative program efforts with other campus units. Dr. Artis is a graduate of Yale and Stanford.

Assistant Director

  • Veronica Bejar

    Veronica Bejar

    Veronica Bejar is the Assistant Director for the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) and the McNair Program. She has over thirteen years of experience preparing and encouraging talented students to pursuing post-baccalaureate degrees. As the Assistant Director, Veronica assists the ongoing operations of the OUR academic year programs, conferences, and summer research programs.

    E-mail to schedule an appointment.

Program Coordinators

  • Thomas K. Brown

    Thomas K. Brown

    Thomas K. Brown has been the Coordinator of the UCSD McNair Program since December of 2005. He has earned advanced degrees in chemistry (C.Phil, Caltech) and anthropology (Ph.D., UCSD). In his role as McNair Program coordinator, he helps students find research placements with UC San Diego faculty. The McNair Program is a preparatory program for traditionally under-represented students (first-generation college students from low-income households and those from under-represented ethnic groups) who want to earn a Ph.D. in any field.

    Office Hours: 

         Monday (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)
         Thursday (12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)

    Make a Zoom appointment: 


  • Claire Kim

    Claire Kim

    Claire Kim is the Faculty Mentor Program Coordinator. She helps students from all disciplines navigate the process of building strong relationships with faculty mentors and take advantage of all the research-related resources that Undergraduate Research has to offer. She received her Ph.D. in English literature from UCLA, with a concentration on 18th-century British novels.

    Office Hours: Thursday (10:00 pm - 12:00 pm)

    Make a Zoom appointment:


  • Kirsten Kung

    Kirsten Kung

    Kirsten Kung, Ph.D., works with a number of students through the Office of Undergraduate Research. She has extensive experience coordinating multiple year research programs and helping students experience opportunities outside of the classroom. She is particularly interested in issues related to mentoring, engaged learning, and research ethics. Dr. Kung received her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in Social Psychology with minors in Health Psychology and Quantitative Psychology. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, she was a faculty member at the University of Houston.

    Office Hours:

         Monday  (2:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
         Thursday  (10:00 am - 11:00 am)

    E-mail to make an appointment.

  • Tyler Rogers

    Tyler Rogers

    Tyler Rogers is the Program Coordinator for Triton Research & Experiential Learning Scholars (TRELS).  Through the  Office of Undergraduate Research, he collaborates with the Provosts of all seven colleges in creating pathways for students to access research & experiential learning opportunities under the guidance of faculty mentors.

    Tyler is completing his PhD in American Studies at Yale University, where he also earned an MA and MPhil in American Studies.  He also earned a BA in Ethnic Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Brown University. Prior to coming to UCSD, Tyler held a faculty appointment as Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in American Studies at Williams College.

    Office Hours: Wednesday (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)

    Make a Zoom appointment:


  • Sophia Tsai

    Sophia Tsai

    Sophia Tsai coordinates multiple programs within the Office of Undergraduate Research. She has experience coordinating student-mentor matching, research scholarships, and helping students get more out of their research programs. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) in molecular biology doing x-ray crystallography, and her Bachelor of Science at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) studying Cybernetics with an emphasis on Bioinformatics. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, she was a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA.

    Office Hours:

         Monday (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)
         Tuesday (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm)

    Make a Zoom appointment:


  • Jason Avalos

    Jason Avalos

    Jason Avalos is the temporary Faculty Mentor Program and STARTneuro program coordinator. In his role as coordinator, Jason assists students to build valuable relationships with UC San Diego faculty mentors and trains students as they enter research through workshops and seminars to help students get ready to apply to Ph.D. programs. Jason received his B.S. in Mathematics – Computer Science from UC San Diego and has experience working with underrepresented, low income and first-generation students.


    Email to make an appointment. 

Support Staff

  • Marie Sheneman

    Marie Sheneman

    Marie Sheneman is the McNair Program Assistant Coordinator. She assists in all stages of the program, from recruiting program participants to collecting post-graduation data. Marie earned her PhD in sociology from Iowa State University. During her time in Iowa, she was a sociology professor and honors program coordinator at a community college. Through her work with the honors program, Marie fell in love with working with students outside the classroom and helping them enhance their education.

    E-mail to make an appointment.

  • Chris Watson

    Chris Watson

    Chris Watson is the (temporary) Administrative Assistant at the Undergraduate Research Hub. As a previous elementary school educator, she is dedicated to helping others reach their greatest potential. Chris received her B.A. from the University of Washington in Society and Justice, and her M.P.A. from the University of Southern California. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, she worked at the University of San Diego. 

Student Assistants

  • Simonne Darbonne

    Simonne Darbonne

    Simonne Darbonne is the front desk student assistant for the Office of Undergraduate Research. She is a fourth year at UC San Diego from Eleanor Roosevelt College with a major in International Business. Simonne is from Fairfield, located in northern California. She began working for URH in the fall of 2019 after returning from studying abroad in Spain for the summer.  In her free time she enjoys playing tennis and drawing.