Dr. Asa Eger – a historian whose research interests include Islamic and Byzantine history and archaeology, the eastern Mediterranean, frontiers and borderlands, and environmental history – is UNCG’s 2022 Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Awardee in the tenured faculty category. Since joining UNCG in 2009, Eger has mentored 12 undergraduates across 14 projects. With a collaborative approach to mentorship, Eger helps his students create individual projects that allow them to explore topics and real-world issues they are passionate about – while developing their research skills, in the process.
Meet Eger and undergraduate researcher Brendan Mulligan in the video below.
Dr. Eger has published four books, including the award-winning “The Islamic-Byzantine Frontier: Interaction and Exchange between Christian and Muslim Communities” and 2021’s “Antioch: A History,” which is through Routledge. He currently has four other books in preparation, with topics ranging from the excavation he recently directed at a 10th-century frontier fortress in Turkey and reexaminations of materials from a 1930s Princeton excavation at Antioch and from a survey of the plain of Aleppo.
Undergraduates have worked with Eger both locally and internationally, with six receiving support from UNCG Undergraduate Research and Creativity – or URCA – Awards. “The funding brings students in and out of archives, on international research trips, and helps them to develop research innovatively through digital means at home.”
For Dr. Eger, undergraduate research is about opening doors permanently. “Broadening the historical narrative across interdisciplinary fields like archeology and public history challenges students to be critical of any one perception or story,” he says. “I aim to prepare my students to become critical thinkers – empowered, better informed, intelligent, and independent humans.”
Check back next week for our video of the 2022 Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Awardee in the pre-tenure faculty category.
Text adapted from a March 2022 awardees announcement by Hope Voorhees and Dana Broadus.