Tim O'Neil
Assistant Director, Undergraduate Enrichment Programs

In my role on the inspiring UEP team, I manage operations for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and the Professional and Academic Conference Endowment (PACE) while supporting programming for the Norlin and Boettcher Scholars—hosting the “Curiosity Lab” for second-year students. 

I believe in the power of storytelling as a pathway to engagement and belonging.  With the “Lightbulb Moment” initiative, I work with campus partners to highlight the stories behind impressive (and often intimidating) narratives of success—showing the more circuitous and failure-marked paths of their peers and mentors.

I have been developing innovative university programming since 2008 and currently serve as Councilor on the Undergraduate Research Programs Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).  Working with campus and global partners, I promote the values of mentorship and student engagement as transformative practices that enable empowering learning. 

Because inequities in higher-education persist, I recognize the need to increase efforts to make research and creative work more accessible and inclusive. As a first-generation student from the Oklahoma City metro, I am sensitive to the egalitarian potential of a university education and consider it a privilege to participate in the academic and creative life of the global community of scholars. 

Inspired, encouraged and supported by faculty and peer mentors, I became Oklahoma State University’s first undergraduate to earn three Honors degrees (English, History and Political Science).  Awarded a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in 2007, I continued to complete an MA in Early American Literature. I love books, but instead of attending to my doctoral program, I developed undergraduate research and student enrichment programs on campus and throughout Oklahoma. 

Collaborating with colleagues, I helped establish Oklahoma’s annual statewide “Promoting Undergraduate Research Conference” (PURC).  In 2012, I was recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for “Excellence in Undergraduate Research Programming” and named Editor-in-Chief of the state’s first undergraduate research journal. 

I joined the CU Boulder community in 2016 and currently serve on the campus steering committee for the Inclusive Community of Practice (ICOP) and work with the Undergraduate Research Working Group to broaden participation in high-impact learning experiences.

Selected Publications

  • O’Neil, Tim. "Partnering with Undergraduate Research Professionals." The Credo Second-Year Transition Guide, ed. Beth Black, ACRL, 2019, 33-35.
  • Upson, Matt and Tim O’Neil. "Freshman Framework: Collaboratively Developing a Set of Required Instructional Modules for Freshman Research Scholars.” Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian, eds. M.K. Hensley and S. Davis-Kahl, ACRL, 2017, 115-128.

Selected Presentations

  • O’Neil, Tim. “The Privilege of Curiosity.” Featured Speaker. National Association of Engineering Student Councils (NAESC) West Regional Conference, 2020 (Virtual)
  • Gabriele, Joan and Tim O’Neil. “Who is Research? Multi-modal Storytelling as an Inclusive Pathway to Participation.” CUR Undergraduate Research Programs Conference, 2019 (Columbus, OH)
  • Upson, Matt and Tim O’Neil, “OSU Undergraduate Library Research Award: A Model of Intra-Institutional Collaboration.” CUR Undergraduate Research Programs Conference, 2015 (Norman, OK)
  • O’Neil, Tim. “Developing Dynamic Web Resources to Facilitate Undergraduate Research.” Council on Undergraduate Research National Conference, 2014 (Washington D.C.)
  • O’Neil, Tim. “Collaborating on a Statewide Online Undergraduate Research Journal.” Keynote. OSRHE Conference Promoting Undergraduate Research, 2013 (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • O’Neil, Tim. “Student to Scholar: An Undergraduate’s Pursuit of Discovery.” Council on Undergraduate Research Pre-ISSOTL Workshop, 2012 (Hamilton, Ontario)
  • O’Neil, Tim. “Anecdotes of Uncertainty: Inquiry and the Articulation of Self (Holistic Fellowships Advising).” National Association of Fellowships Advisors (NAFA) Regional Conference, 2012 (Richmond, VA).