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Staff and Appointments

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


  • David Artis, PhD

    David Artis, PhD

    Dean of Undergraduate Research Advancement

    David Artis, PhD came to the Undergraduate Research  Hub (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 Undergraduate Research Hub (URH) programs and services, including coordinating more scholarship opportunities for students in all fields, increased participation in URH-sponsored undergraduate research conferences, and more collaborative program efforts with other campus units. Dr. Artis is a graduate of Yale and Stanford.

    To make an appointment with Dr. Artis, please contact Ms. Mercedes Favor at

Assistant Director

  • Veronica Bejar

    Veronica Bejar

    Assistant Director for the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH) and the McNair Program

    Veronica Bejar 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 URH academic year programs, conferences, and summer research programs.


  • Thomas K. Brown, PhD

    Thomas K. Brown, PhD

    McNair Program Coordinator

    Thomas K. Brown has been coordinating the McNair Program since December of 2005. He has earned advanced degrees in chemistry (CPhil, Caltech) and anthropology (PhD, 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 PhD in any field.


    Make an appointment:


  • Kirsten Kung, PhD

    Kirsten Kung, PhD

    UC Scholars Program Coordinator

    Kirsten Kung, PhD, works with a number of students through the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH). 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 PhD 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.


  • Sophia Tsai Neri, PhD

    Sophia Tsai Neri, PhD

    Research Scholarships Coordinator
    URS, Genentech, Prestigious Scholarships

    Sophia Tsai Neri coordinates multiple programs within the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH). She has experience coordinating student-mentor matching, research scholarships, and helping students get more out of their research programs. She received her PhD 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: Tuesday (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm), Wednesday (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)


    Phone: 858-534-9014

    Make an appointment:

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    Daniel Movahed

    TRELS Program Coordinator

    In his role, Daniel manages the TRELS Program and collaborates with the seven colleges at UC San Diego. He earned his business administration degree from CSU Fullerton. During his time at CSU Fullerton, he worked at the university’s Outreach, Recruitment and Orientation department. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, he worked at National University as an advisor in the Admissions department.

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    Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) and Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) Coordinator


  • Elizabeth Vazquez

    Elizabeth Vazquez

    Transfer Research and Involvement Coordinator

    Elizabeth is the Research and Involvement Coordinator for the Triton Transfer Hub and a liaison between Transfer Student Success and the Undergraduate Research Hub. In her role, the goal is to connect incoming and current transfer students to a wide variety of opportunities offered at UC San Diego such as research, internships, study abroad, volunteer work, and entrepreneurship opportunities. She is passionate about assisting the transfer student community at UC San Diego feel included on campus. A transfer student herself, Elizabeth transferred from community college to UC Santa Barbara where she earned her BA and earned her master’s in postsecondary educational leadership and student affairs from San Diego State University.


    Make an appointment: Elizabeth's Appointment Calendar

  • Marie Sheneman, PhD

    Marie Sheneman, PhD

    McNair Program Assistant Coordinator | RSRI Program Coordinator

    Marie assists in all stages of the program, from recruiting program participants to collecting post-graduation data. Marie is a proud sociology alumna of Washington State University (BA), Northern Arizona University (MA), and Iowa State University (PhD). She is the first person in her family to earn a BA (first-generation pride!) and the first person in her extended family to earn graduate degrees. 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.  


    For RSRI questions:

    Make an appointment:

  • Mercedes Favors

    Mercedes Favors

    Office Manager

    Mercedes Favors is the Office Manager and Assistant to Dr. David Artis. Mercedes served 10 years in the United States Navy providing guidance and administrative support to active-duty service members. While deployed, she obtained her degree in science. Currently, as a veteran, she is pursing her degree in education. Her goal within URH is to provide unlimited support and contribute to the success of all students.


Student Assistants

  • Samantha Pagdilao

    Samantha Pagdilao

    Samantha is a student office assistant at the Undergraduate Research Hub. She is a first-generation BS student majoring in business psychology and plans to minor in Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. Samantha is from Delano, located in central California. She began working for the URH in the fall of 2022. Her free time is spent indulging in anime, exercise, and the Sanrio website.
  • Madison Clark

    Madison Clark

    Madi is a student office assistant at the Undergraduate Research Hub. Madi is from northern Virginia and began working for the URH in April of 2023. She is a pre-med neurobiology major with plans to become a psychiatrist. Her free time is spent watching movies, hanging out with friends, reading, and listening to music. 

Undergraduate Research Hub

  • Undergraduate Research Hub

    Undergraduate Research Hub

    Have a question, but you aren't sure who to contact? Email the Undergraduate Research Hub at and someone will help you!