Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity (CURCA)

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Mentoring the next generation through the education of a lifetime.

The goal of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) is to distinguish Siena College as an institution that values both classroom and high-impact experiential learning. Siena has a culture of faculty and student engagement in the form of undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity. Working with faculty mentors, students in Siena’s schools of Liberal Arts, Science and Business are using research to uncover their passion while developing skills they will use to pursue it. This student-faculty partnership distinguishes Siena as an institution valuing high experiential learning both in and out of the classroom with challenging research projects that push boundaries and expand world-views.

  • Approximately 100 students per year engaged in undergraduate research and creative activity
  • Students work under the guidance of faculty mentors
  • Students travel to national and international conferences to present research

Learn more about CURCA

Voices of Our Campaign

Alissa Earle

Alissa Earle ’13

B.S. in Physics and Mathematics,
Matriculated to MIT

Alissa Earle entered college as a physics and math education major with plans to be a high school teacher, but changed course when she discovered the research process. “If there’s an opportunity to create more of this type of experience for students, I think it could have a huge impact.”

Cheryl Buff PhD

Cheryl Buff ’82, Ph.D.

Director CURCA,
Professor of Marketing

After a national search, Siena College chose Cheryl Buff ’82, Ph.D., to lead CURCA, an interdisciplinary program focused on student undergraduate research. “You’re really preparing students, and, in my mind, giving them something that distinguishes them from others that they’re going to be competing with for jobs.”

Fr. John O’Connor, O.F.M.

Fr. John O’Connor, O.F.M.

Provincial Minister – Holy Name Province,
Siena College Trustee

Fr. John F. O’Conner has been a Siena trustee for eight years, since he was appointed provincial. “It gives me something to be proud of that we friars started a place like Siena College back in 1937 and it has flourished.”

Naming Opportunities

Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity ($1,500,000)
Endow the Executive Director’s compensation and receives overall program naming rights.
Summer Research Scholars Fund (starting at $25,000 each)
To support students engaged in scholarly research during 4-10 weeks in the summer.
Academic Research Funds ($25,000 each)
Five (5) $25,000 Academic Research Funds provide faculty with funding for research as a form of student engagement and pedagogy.




$1.6 mil. committed
to $3.5 mil. goal

Original Goal Exceeded!Let's Keep Going