The UWM Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) opened in 2008 as a resource for undergraduates seeking on-campus research opportunities and faculty seeking enthusiastic, motivated undergraduate students with whom to collaborate. OUR programs, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), the Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) program, the UR@UWM program for incoming students, the Course-Based Research Projects (CBRP), the Overseas Undergraduate Research Awards, the Conference Travel Awards, the Senior Excellence in Research Awards (SERA), the Faculty Mentor of the Year Award, the annual campus-wide UWM Undergraduate Research Symposium, and the SEEUWM program for high school students who want to learn about university research, are designed to connect students and faculty in collaborative research in all schools and colleges at UWM.

Office of Undergraduate Research Staff:

Nigel Rothfels, Director

Nigel in the Boundary Waters

Nigel attended college at the University of Utah, received an A.M. and Ph.D. in History from Harvard University, and has worked at UWM since 1994. He has held post-doctoral research fellowships from Princeton University, the Australian National University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he has been a visiting research professor at the University of Oslo. He is the author of Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo (2002) and the editor of a cross-disciplinary collection of essays, Representing Animals (2002). In 2015, his most recent book, Elephant House, a collaboration with Emeritus Professor of Film Dick Blau, was published by Penn State University Press. He is the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at UWM. Email:

Kyla Esguerra, Deputy Director

Kyla Esguerra received her Master’s degree in English from the University of Notre Dame and undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology from Hope College. At UWM, she was a Lecturer in the English department and with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program before becoming Associate Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2008, and Deputy Director in 2015. She has served as an elected Councilor in the Undergraduate Research Program Director division of the national Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and is a current elected member of the executive board of the Wisconsin System Council on Undergraduate Research (WiSCUR).  She is also part of the instructional team for the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. Off campus, she enjoys spending time with family and supporting local music. Email:

Tamara Long, Senior Advisor


Tamara received her Master’s degree in Management with an emphasis in Organizational Development from the University of Phoenix – Brookfield, WI campus, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While attending UWM, she worked for the TRIO/Pre-College Programs, formally known as the Pre-College Academy. In her spare time, Tamara teaches information technology and graphic design courses at a local technical college. She enjoys working with students of all ages, designing, listening to jazz, and spending time with friends and family. Email:


Jessica Schuld, Programs Coordinator

Jessica has her BS in Biological Sciences from UWM and a Master’s in Administrative Leadership with a focus in Higher Education Administration. While completing her BS in Biology she received SURF funding working with Dr. Chuck Wimpee. After graduating, Jessica worked as a lab technician for UWM’s School of Public Health for four years. When she is not working, Jessica enjoys biking, running, hiking, and cooking for friends and family. Email: Phone: 414-251-5155

Sarah Keepman, Financial Specialist








Sarah received her BA in Journalism/Mass Communication from UWM.  She is excited to return to campus as the Financial Specialist in OUR working with undergraduates introducing and connecting them with interesting research opportunities. Sarah enjoys time with her family, cooking and traveling.  Email:

Danielle Hobach

Danielle is an undergraduate student working towards a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies, a minor in Psychology, and a certificate in Healthy Aging. She became a research assistant as a freshman through the UR@UWM Summer Research Program, working alongside Dr. Osmon in the Adult Neuropsychology Lab. Her most recent research was on the use of mindfulness-based interventions on individuals with rotator cuff tears with Dr. Sindhu. She plans to graduate in spring 2021 and pursue a career in recreational therapy. 

Aimee Roekle

Aimee is an undergraduate student working on her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with a Cultures and Communities certificate. She was involved in the UR@UWM program during the summer of 2018, working as a research assistant in the language acquisition lab in the linguistics department. She has continued working on various projects in this lab since then. She plans to graduate spring 2022 and continue on to graduate education, pursuing a career in research.