Welcome from the Director

Levent Atici

Levent Atici, Executive Director

Greetings Fellow Researchers! I warmly and enthusiastically welcome you to UNLV’s Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR), your go-to campus unit that strives to enrich your learning experience. First and foremost, we are here to provide you with an exciting range of research education experience in the field, laboratory, and classroom settings. Coupled with rich and diverse professional and career development tools, we have everything to help you give meaning and purpose to your education and life! You are the next generation of leaders to be involved in experiential learning with real-world exposure, access, and experience. And we are equipped to accelerate your personal and professional development by supporting you, working with you, and learning from you!

My Background

I am an anthropologically trained archaeologist with a research focus on the relationships between humans, non-human animals, and the environment. Both in the field as a researcher and in the classroom as a teacher, I am particularly interested in the origins of the food we eat, and the evolution of urban food provisioning systems. Shortly after I started as an assistant professor in UNLV’s Anthropology Department in 2007, I became increasingly interested in the very issue of having and sustaining an urban life in our challenging, marginal desert environment with scarce resources such as land and water and without agriculture. Then, I decided to take a more active stance and to instigate change on our campus. As a result of 11 years of teaching experience and having supervised more than 300 undergraduate students in research projects at UNLV, I have developed an extensive knowledge of UNLV’s research and instructional culture and infrastructure. In addition, I have had the privilege of working closely with UNLV undergraduate students and of witnessing how aptly they recognize the complex problems we face in the real world, here at home and elsewhere, and how strongly they are motivated and dedicated to resolving them. I regularly brought research into the classroom, or I brought my students out into the real world. My teaching and research organically coalesced around shared themes to further evolve my career and to impact our students in a very positive way. And I believe all of these synergies have set me on a path to become an administrator so that I may have the exceptional opportunity to increase the scale and resolution of my impact from the classroom to the campus level.

My Vision

In my current role as Executive Director of Undergraduate Research, I am eager to bring my extensive student mentoring experience, my innovative research education approach to the classroom, and my proven record of building integrative and collaborative research to the OUR. Toward this end, OUR’s dedicated and talented team will work closely with our campus and community partners such as University Libraries, Academic Success Center, Writing Center, Office of Research Integrity-Human Subjects, Advising Centers, Graduate College, public and private agencies, companies, and communities of Southern Nevada, and other NSHE institutions to provide UNLV undergraduate students with ample research and professional development opportunities. UNLV is now recognized as one of the nation’s top research universities and our faculty and student researchers generate headlines-worthy and high-impact research output. At UNLV’s OUR, we work hard to foster active research participation by undergraduate students in research activities taking place across UNLV campuses. At UNLV’s OUR, we say YES to undergraduate research and we invite you to join us! Are you research ready? We are!

Levent Atici, Ph.D.

Executive Director of Undergraduate Research

Professor of Anthropology