Undergraduate researchers awarded 30 scholarships

By Jared Brickman, Office of Undergraduate Education

undergrad-research-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Thirty Washington State University undergraduates have been awarded scholarships for projects in 2014-15. The awards – typically $1,000 – help support the research and creative activities of students from a wide variety of disciplines who work with faculty and staff mentors.

“Mentored research is a rewarding and résumé-building high-impact experience,” said Shelley Pressley, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, which made the awards. “With scholarship support, many students can devote more time to research than having to work jobs to fill financial needs.”

The awards include the Carson, Auvil and DeVlieg fellowships.

First Carson fellow

An undergraduate explains her research at an academic poster session. (Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)

Joseph Traverso, a mechanical engineering major mentored by Nikolaos Voulgarakis, is the first recipient from the Scott and Linda Carson Undergraduate Research Endowed Excellence Fund.

The Carsons are WSU alumni who have supported the university through years of service and financial gifts. Scott Carson is a WSU regent and leads the university’s $1 billion Campaign for WSU fundraising effort that continues into 2015.

DeVlieg fellow

The DeVlieg Foundation Grant is a fund for students in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture who are pursuing research projects in renewable energy. This year’s recipient is Serah Njau, a chemical engineering major mentored by Bernard Van Wie.

Auvil fellows

The Auvil Scholars Fellowship began in 2006 with a gift from the estates of Grady and Lillie Auvil, Wenatchee tree-fruit entrepreneurs who believed in the importance of education and research.

The newest fellows’ projects include: the properties of fragmented magnetic materials, limb regeneration in tadpoles, the influence of video games on the view of history of people from different societies and more.

Auvil fellows for 2014-15 are:
• Jonathan Abarca, a fruit and vegetable management major mentored by Amit Dhingra
• Sophie Ascasco, a zoology major mentored by Kwan Hee Kim
• Madeleine Brookman, a digital technology and culture major mentored by Dene Grigar at WSU-V
• Colleen Chalmers, a psychology and human development major mentored by Brittany Rhoades Cooper
• Vanessa Delgado, a sociology major mentored by Linda Heidenreich and Julie Kmec
• Molly Diamond, a zoology major mentored by Erica Crespi
• Hannah French, a neuroscience major mentored by James Pru
• Floricel Gonzalez, a microbiology and English major mentored by Anthony Nicola
• Brandon Graham, a bioengineering major mentored by Wenji Dong
• Travis King, a zoology major mentored by Daniel Thornton
• Katherine Ladwig, a bioengineering major mentored by David Lin
• Hannah Matalone, a speech and hearing sciences major mentored by Mark VanDam
• Joseph McGill, an environmental science and biology major, mentored by Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens
• Samantha McInally, a microbiology major mentored by Hector Aguilar-Carreno
• Angela Morrelli, Stephen Palermini and Brittany Wouden, all digital technology and culture majors, mentored by John Barber at WSU Vancouver
• Natalie Nelson, an animal sciences major mentored by James Pru
• Daniel Nicoara, a biochemistry major mentored by Raymond Quock
• Mia Ryckman, a biology major mentored by Norman Lewis
• Muad Saleh, a materials science and engineering major, mentored by John McCloy
• Seth Schneider, a genetics and cell biology major mentored by Cynthia Haseltine
• Jacqueline Schultz, a zoology major mentored by Mark Dybdahl
• Christina Street, a neuroscience major mentored by Michael Court
• Kayla Titialii, a zoology major mentored by Erica Crespi
• Chris Vasil, a chemistry major mentored by Jonel Saludes
• Kai Wang, a zoology major mentored by Jesse Brunner
• Lauren Rachel Young, a history major mentored by Lydia Gerber

“Award winners will present their work at the 2015 Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA),” Pressley said. “Sharing the results of research and creative activity is a fundamental part of the research process.”

More information about WSU’s undergraduate research programming is online at http://UndergraduateResearch.wsu.edu.