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Dr. Ariel Belasen, URCA Coordinator


Dr. Ariel Belasen is  Professor of Economics and Finance at SIUE and also serves as the URCA Coordinator. In this role, he is responsible for oversight of the URCA program and budget. 



Former URCA Coordinators

Dr. Laura Pawlow, Former URCA Coordinator

SIUE Professor and former URCA Coordinator, Dr. Laura Pawlow

Dr. Laura Pawlow was the inaugural coordinator of the URCA program (which was born out of the former Undergraduate Research Academy (URA) program in the spring of 2009).  She continued in this role for 13 years, through the spring of 2022.  During her time, Dr. Pawlow created the semesterly URCA newsletter, the semesterly URCA Assistant and Mentor awards program, brought the regional STLAURS undergraduate research conference to the SIUE campus for the first time, did intensive outreach to increase the number of both minority faculty and students into the program as well as those from traditionally unrepresented programs like the Arts, secured the right for Assistants to participate in the annual Showcase, moved the entire program online during the COVID pandemic with minimal interruption, and published 4 manuscripts and presented 7 posters regarding URCA (see  She brought over 400 faculty mentors into the program and URCA students coauthored over 120 publications and 650 presentations and were featured in such outlets as Fox 2 News, KSDK, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch during her tenure.


For more information on the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Program,
contact Dr. Ariel Belasen at (618) 650-2940 or

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