Meet the CURCA Staff

lamis jarvinen

Lamis Z Jarvinen, Ph.D.  

Director, Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity
Email: ljarvinen@westfield.ma.edu, Phone: (413) 572-8681, Ely Mezzanine 230

Dr. Jarvinen is our founding CURCA Director, having joined Westfield State in March 2018. She has been involved in research since her undergraduate days as a Biology Major at the University of Michigan-Flint. She received her M.S. in Veterinary Pathobiology from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, focusing on vaccine development and delivery systems. Her deep interest in how immunological cells mediate whole organ transplantation tolerance led her to Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine where she obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Immunology.  As a post-doctoral fellow of the University of Michigan Medical Center, she worked on developing immunological strategies for prolonging whole organ transplantation tolerance through the use of viral gene therapy and adult mesenchymal stem cells.

She is dedicated to the liberal arts study and to working with undergraduates across disciplines. She has developed innovative approaches to science teaching, using 17th Century works of fine art to help students understand and apply the process of science and further collaborated on innovative ways to elevate student potential through the use of technology. She has been a pedagogical researcher on National Science Foundation grants and has worked as a consultant in the private sector, providing program evaluations and curricular approaches to science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) for K-12 and colleges.

She is excited to be part of the Westfield State community and to working with students, faculty, and staff across disciplines. She is available to support students and their mentors in many aspects of research and creative activity in and out of the classroom. Contact her with any questions or for assistance.


Thomas Howard
Thomas Howard
CURCA Graduate Assistant
Thoward6798@westfield.ma.edu, Ely Library Mezzanine 230

Tom is a graduate student of Westfield State University’s Masters of Public Administration program and is a recent WSU alum, majoring in History and Political Science. As an undergraduate, he actively participated in many facets of CURCA; presenting at CURCA Celebrations, served as CURCA intern and student ambassador, and was a recipient of the highly competitive summer student undergraduate research fellowship (SSuRF). As an intern and ambassador, Tom provided peer-mentorship and worked to develop CURCA’s social media presence.

As a graduate assistant, he understands the importance of applied experiences and the role CURCA plays in the Westfield State Experience.  He looks forward to continuing to share his knowledge of the various resources and opportunities CURCA has to offer and is looking forward to working with students on ways to advance their research and presentation skills. Tom provides a student-perspective on how research and creative activity enriches undergraduate study.  He will support the CURCA Director through classroom engagements, workshops, event planning, and social media presence.


CURCA Advisory Committee