Award Announcements

• Congratulations, Spring 2017 UConn IDEA Grant Recipients!

idea_logo_standard_color_bottomWEB_cropCongratulations to the twenty-nine UConn undergraduates who have been awarded UConn IDEA Grants in the spring 2017 funding cycle!

Nineteen of the award recipients will be completing individual projects, and ten will be working on collaborative group projects. The award recipients represent a variety of disciplines, from nursing to elementary education, animal science to biomedical engineering. They will work on designing prototypes and software systems; producing short films, graphic novels, and animations; developing educational programs; and conducting independent research.

Click here to view the full list of spring 2017 UConn IDEA Grant award recipients.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn IDEA Grant and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects. We would also like to thank the faculty and staff from around the University who served as reviewers.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project. The next application deadline will be in December 2017.

• Congratulations, Fall 2016 UConn IDEA Grant Recipients!

idea_logo_standard_color_bottomWEB_cropCongratulations to the twenty-two UConn undergraduates who have been awarded UConn IDEA Grants in the fall 2016 funding cycle!

Sixteen of the award recipients will be completing individual projects, and six will be working on collaborative group projects. The award recipients represent a variety of disciplines – from marine sciences to political science, illustration to biomedical engineering – and include two recipients from the Avery Point campus. They will create multimedia exhibitions, develop prototypes, assess educational interventions, and evaluate environmental impact.

Click here to view the full list of fall 2016 UConn IDEA Grant award recipients.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn IDEA Grant and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects. We would also like to thank the faculty and staff from around the University who served as reviewers.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project. The next application deadline is March 13, 2017.

• Congratulations, 2017 SHARE Award Recipients!

SHARE Awards support undergraduate research apprenticeships in the social sciences, humanities, and arts, offering students majoring in these fields opportunities to develop inquiry skills and explore research interests early in their college careers.

We are delighted to announce the 16 student-faculty teams selected to receive awards for Spring 2017 and thank the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute for its generous support of two of these student awards. Congratulations to all award recipients!


Project Title: Extinction of Fear Within Virtual Reality Environments
Student Apprentice and Major: Allison Arnista, Psychological Sciences
Faculty Mentor and Department: Robert Astur, Psychological Sciences

Project Title: Intercultural Communication
Student Apprentice and Major: Emma Barnes, Political Science & German
Faculty Mentor and Department: Manuela Wagner, Literatures, Cultures, and Languages

UCHI logoProject Title: Exploring the Communication of Support about Racial Microaggressions in Black Women Friend Groups
Student Apprentice and Major: Alleyha Dannett, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies & Human Rights
Faculty Mentor and Department: Sharde Davis, Communication
Award Co-Sponsored by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute

Project Title: Support for Reducing Inequality: Citizen Attitudes vs. Public Action
Student Apprentice and Major: George Dennis, Political Science & History
Faculty Mentor and Department: Thomas Hayes, Political Science

Project Title: Pesos and Ponies: Neural Representation of Phonetic Category Structure in Spanish-English Bilinguals
Student Apprentice and Major: Divya Ganugapati, Cognitive Science & Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Faculty Mentor and Department: Rachel Theodore, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Project Title: Town Conservation Commissions and Regional Conservation Associations in New England
Student Apprentice and Major: Abigail LaFontan, Political Science
Faculty Mentor and Department: Prakash Kashwan, Political Science

Project Title: Mu Rhythm Patterns in Early Childhood
Student Apprentice and Major: Dilsara Liyanage, Psychological Sciences
Faculty Mentor and Department: Kimberly Cuevas, Psychological Sciences

Project Title: The Implications of Ethnic-Racial Socialization for Emerging Adults’ Development Across Ethnic-Racial and Gender Groups
Student Apprentice and Major: Thessiana Mesilus, Psychological Sciences & Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty Mentor and Department: Annamaria Csizmadia, Human Development and Family Studies

Project Title: Identification of Barriers and Facilitators to Physical Activity in the Elderly with Osteoarthritis
Student Apprentice and Major: Erin Milner, Nursing
Faculty Mentor and Department: Deborah McDonald, Nursing

Project Title: Violence Against Women and Girls: Evidence of the Normative Gap Between Rhetoric and Law
Student Apprentice and Major: Susan Naseri, Political Science & Human Rights
Faculty Mentor and Department: David Richards, Political Science

Project Title: Using a Focus Group to Evaluate the Utility of Interactive Modules for Self-Management of Low Back Pain
Student Apprentice and Major: Amanda Pinto, Nursing
Faculty Mentor and Department: Angela Starkweather, Nursing

UCHI logoProject Title: Flusser 2.0 – From the Print-Text to the Image-Flood
Student Apprentice and Major: Katherine Riedling, Computer Science and Engineering & German
Faculty Mentor and Department: Anke Finger, Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Nursing
Award Co-Sponsored by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute

Project Title: Crafting Environmental Citizenship: Pollution, Resistance and Representation in Latin American Cities
Student Apprentice and Major: Emily Steck, Political Science & Human Rights
Faculty Mentor and Department: Veronica Herrera, Political Science

Project Title: An Examination of the Unique Social-Ecologies of Discriminatory Bullying Experienced by Latino Immigrant Youth
Student Apprentice and Major: Monica Vise, Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty Mentor and Department: Alaina Brenick, Human Development and Family Studies

Project Title: The Effects of the Maternal Voice on the Infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)  
Student Apprentice and Major: Selena Williamson, Nursing
Faculty Mentor and Department: Jacqueline McGrath, Nursing

Project Title: Designing Interactive Museum Experiences with Omeka Everywhere
Student Apprentice and Major: Andrew Wolf, Digital Media and Design
Faculty Mentor and Department: Clarissa Ceglio, Digital Media and Design

• 2016 Mentorship Excellence Awards

mentorship3

In recognition of the pivotal role that mentors play in supporting undergraduate research and creative activity, the Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce the recipents of the 2016 Mentorship Excellence Awards. These awards recognize two faculty members – one in a STEM field, and one in a non-STEM field – and one graduate student who exemplify the ways in which outstanding mentors challenge and support their students, enabling them to take intellectual risks and achieve milestones they might not have initially envisioned being able to reach.

The 2016 Mentorship Excellence Awards were presented to Dwight Codr, Etan Markus, and Samantha Yohn during the Frontiers in Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition on Friday, April 8, 2016.


Dwight Codr, Associate Professor of English
Professor Codr’s award was presented by Giorgina Paiella ’16 (CLAS), who has completed several research grants and projects under his advisement. The following text is excerpted from Giorgina’s nomination and presentation remarks.

Dwight Codr and Giorgina Paiella
Mentorship Excellence Award winner Dwight Codr with Giorgina Paiella.

There are some people with whom you cross paths who end up having a tremendous impact on your life. Professor Dwight Codr is one of those individuals. I met him almost four years ago, when I was a freshman in his Introduction to Literary Studies course. That class was the first English course of my college career, and to this day, it is one of the best classes that I have taken at UConn. The course, more commonly known among English students as “the Frankenstein course,” is renowned in the department for being an engaging, creative approach to literary interpretation. He is unsurprisingly a favorite professor to many students of English.

Professor Codr has guided me through one class seminar, two independent studies to prepare me for my thesis work, a summer research paper, an exhibition that I curated in the Dodd Center, and my University Scholar project. This fall, I applied to graduate school. Professor Codr guided me through writing my personal statement and gathering my application materials. The application process would have been difficult were it not for Professor Codr’s constant support and encouragement of my promise as a student. He is a tireless mentor who responds to student emails late at night far beyond what is required of his duties as an instructor. He encourages office hour visits and calls in order to work through research questions and other inquiries, and he does this all out of a passion for student learning and growth. Professor Codr is an exceptional researcher, an engaging and passionate instructor, and at the same time humble and caring. It is rare to find these qualities combined in a person, and even rarer in a mentor.

I am happy to say that I will be pursuing a graduate degree in the fall. It is my goal to become a university professor, where I hope to pay forward the support that I have received at this university and aim for the exceptional mentorship standard that Professor Codr has set.


Etan Markus, Professor of Psychological Sciences
Professor Markus’ award was presented by Stephanie Vu ’16 (CLAS), one of many undergraduate researchers in the Markus lab. The following text is excerpted from Stephanie’s presentation remarks.

Photo of Markus Lab members
Current and past undergraduate researchers from the Markus Lab surround Professor Etan Markus, 2016 Mentorship Excellence Award winner.

Dr. Markus takes a personal interest in the lives of his undergraduate researchers to ensure that we not only conduct exceptional research but enjoy doing so. He has cultivated a sense of community within the lab by hosting lab dinners, conducting weekly lab meetings, and most importantly, providing a constant supply of snacks and hot chocolate in the lounge so that we never go hungry after running hour-long experiments.

Clearly, this kind of care and commitment to his students also translates into the excellent mentorship he provides within the lab setting. Despite being a mentor for over 15 undergraduate researchers, Dr. Markus has never failed to inspire each and every one of us to pursue our future aspirations and to be confident in our academic and research abilities. He has encouraged us to pursue independent research, attend research conferences such as NEURON and Society for Neuroscience, and apply for research awards and fellowships. There have been countless times when Dr. Markus has come in on weekends to work with his students 1:1. He has even taken me on spontaneous field trips to the Depot Campus or the supply store to test out new experimental designs to improve my research project. His enthusiasm and passion has empowered us to push the limits of our undergraduate education and to engage in quality research.

These past four years I have been fortunate enough to learn from Dr. Markus’s research abilities and to have a mentor who is truly invested in his students’ successes. I can speak for the other students in his lab that working under Dr. Markus’s guidance has been one of the hallmarks of our college careers.


Samantha Yohn, Ph.D. Student, Behavioral Neuroscience, Salamone Laboratory
Dr. Yohn – who successfully defended her dissertation the day prior – was presented with her award by Giuseppe Tripodi ’16 (CLAS), one of many undergraduate researchers who works under her supervision in the Salamone lab. The following text is excerpted from Guiseppe’s presentation remarks.

Samantha Yohn and Salamone lab members
Award winner Samantha Yohn with Professor John Salamone and undergraduate researchers in the Salamone lab.

Sam is a Psychology Ph.D. student in the Salamone Lab, and I have been privileged to work beside her since the beginning of my junior year. As a student with zero experience in the field of research, I felt nothing short of intimidated and overwhelmed. However, with Sam’s guidance and talent, she made me feel as if I had been a part of the lab for years.

With finesse, she explains difficult, unfamiliar concepts easily, as if it were second nature to her. Every day she teaches us novel concepts and techniques crucial for the lab to function properly, quizzing us out of the blue to make the information stick, and pushing us to practice under a watchful eye until our techniques are perfected.

Over countless hours working with her, my fellow undergraduate students and I began not just to trust one another but also to trust ourselves, to become self-reliant. In her rare absences we are able to act independently whenever the need arises, a skill many are not fortunate enough to be able to practice in the field of research, and for that, we are in her debt.

Lastly, Sam’s involvement has reached us not only on a professional level, but also a personal one. She is never hesitant to donate her time or effort to help her undergrads, whether we need it because of stress from school, family troubles, or fears of the future. Sam has truly established a second family here in the Salamone lab, and she will undoubtedly be missed as she leaves to further her career at Vanderbilt University.


Congratulations to the 2016 award recipients! The Office of Undergraduate Research thanks the undergraduate students who nominated their faculty and graduate student mentors as well as the Peer Research Ambassadors who served on this year’s selection committee.

Jennifer Lease Butts, Giorgina Paiella, and Dwight Codr
Assistant Vice Provost Jennifer Lease Butts, Giorgina Paiella, and honoree Dwight Codr.

Etan Markus and Stephanie Vu
Stephanie Vu presents Etan Markus with his Mentorship Excellence Award.

Salamone, Yohn, and Tripodi
Professor John Salamone, honoree Samantha Yohn, and Giuseppe Tripodi.

 

• Congratulations, Summer 2016 SURF Award Recipients!

Shaharyar Zuberi
Shaharyar Zuberi ’17 (CLAS), one of 44 recipients of a 2016 SURF Award in support of full-time summer research.
The Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce the selection of 44 undergraduate students to receive SURF Awards in support of their summer undergraduate research projects. The faculty review committee was impressed by the extremely high caliber of the 60 applications submitted this year.

Click here to view the full list of Summer 2016 SURF award recipients.

Congratulations to the SURF awardees! Your academic achievements, curiosity, initiative, and motivation were evident in your applications. You have a challenging summer of deep engagement with the process of academic inquiry ahead of you. We look forward to hearing about all you learn!

We thank the faculty members who supported SURF applicants in a range of roles: mentors, letter writers, and faculty review committee members. SURF represents a collaborative effort between students and faculty. This program would simply not be possible without the support and participation of the UConn faculty!

OUR also extends thanks to SURF supporters in the UConn community. We are grateful to the Provost’s Office, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and to the Deans of the Schools and Colleges of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources; Education; Engineering; Fine Arts; Nursing; and Pharmacy, who all contributed funding to the SURF competition this year. Alumni, parents, and friends of UConn also helped fund SURF awards. This collaborative funding effort ensures that SURF supports a diverse array of undergraduate research endeavors. We are grateful to all of our program partners for making intensive summer research opportunities available to students seeking to enrich their undergraduate experience in this way.

Once again, congratulations to the recipients of 2016 SURF awards, and good luck with your summer projects!

• Congratulations, Spring 2016 UConn IDEA Grant Recipients!

idea_logo_standard_color_bottomWEB_cropCongratulations to the thirty-five UConn undergraduates who have been awarded UConn IDEA Grants in the spring 2016 funding cycle!

Twenty-two of the award recipients will be completing individual projects, and thirteen will be working on collaborative group projects. The award recipients represent a variety of disciplines, from printmaking to biomedical engineering, horticulture to political science. They will work on launching new ventures; developing art exhibitions, puppet shows, YouTube series, and television pilots; and collaborating with community organizations.

Click here to view the full list of spring 2016 UConn IDEA Grant award recipients.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn IDEA Grant and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects. We would also like to thank the faculty and staff from around the University who served as reviewers.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project. The next application deadline is in December 2016.

• Congratulations, Fall 2015 UConn IDEA Grant Recipients!

idea_logo_standard_color_bottomWEB_cropCongratulations to the nineteen UConn undergraduates who have been awarded UConn IDEA Grants in the fall 2015 funding cycle!

Fifteen of the award recipients will be completing individual projects, and four will be working on collaborative group projects. The award recipients represent a variety of disciplines, from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to Sports Management, Nursing to Graphic Design.

Click here to view the full list of fall 2015 UConn IDEA Grant award recipients.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn IDEA Grant and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects. We would also like to thank the faculty and staff from around the University who served as reviewers.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project. The next application deadline is Monday, March 14, 2016.

• Congratulations, 2016 SHARE Award Recipients!

SHARE Awards support undergraduate research apprenticeships in the social sciences, humanities, and arts, offering students majoring in these fields opportunities to develop research skills and explore research interests early in their college careers.

We are delighted to announce the 21 student-faculty teams selected to receive awards for Spring 2016 and thank the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute for its generous support of two of these student awards. Congratulations to all award recipients!


Project Title: An Ethnography at a Colombian Maternity Hospital: A Critical look at Neoliberalism and Global Health
Student Apprentice and Major: Eeman Abbasi, Individualized: Health and Human Rights in the Middle East
Faculty Mentor and Department: Cesar Abadia-Barrero, Anthropology and Human Rights

Project Title: Realism, Refugees, and Global Governance
Student Apprentice and Major: Lucas Bladen, Political Science
Faculty Mentor and Department: Jennifer Sterling-Folker, Political Science

Project Title: Neural and Behavioral Changes Attributed to High Intensity Reading Treatment in Chronic Aphasia
Student Apprentice and Major: Samantha Coulombe, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Faculty Mentor and Department: Jennifer Mozeiko, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Project Title: Polysyllabic Word Spelling
Student Apprentice and Major: Marissa Gadacy, Psychology & Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty Mentor and Department: Devin Kearns, Educational Psychology

Project Title: Between Citizenship and Nationality: An Overview of Federal Citizenship Legislation for the U.S. Pacific Island Territories, 1898 to Present
Student Apprentice and Major: Maye Henning, Political Science & Human Rights
Faculty Mentor and Department: Charles Venator-Santiago, Political Science

Project Title: Project SPARK
Student Apprentice and Major: Kelsey Iwanicki, Elementary Education
Faculty Mentor and Department: Catherine Little, Educational Psychology

Project Title: Cross-Modal Integration: Effects of Shape on Phonetic Categorization
Student Apprentice and Major: Jessica Joseph, Psychology
Faculty Mentor and Department: Eiling Yee, Psychological Sciences

Project Title: Human Rights Discourse and Practices in Turkey
Student Apprentice and Major: Rubayet Lasker, Political Science & Human Rights
Faculty Mentor and Department: Zehra Arat, Political Science

Project Title: Exclusion Bullying in Same- and Cross-Race Contexts: Evaluations of Victimization, Victimizer Goals, and Victim Responses in Relation to Ethnicity and Personal Bullying and Victimization Experience
Student Apprentice and Major: Samantha Lawrence, Psychology & Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty Mentor and Department: Alaina Brenick, Human Development and Family Studies

Project Title: Developmental Cognition in Early Childhood
Student Apprentice and Major: Sonia Limaye, Allied Health Sciences
Faculty Mentor and Department: Kimberly Cuevas, Psychological Sciences

UCHI logoProject Title: Beat Your Gums: A History of Collected Stories and Reflections of Massachusetts Veterans
Student Apprentice and Major: Tara Lokke, History
Faculty Mentor and Department: Fiona Vernal, History
Award Co-Sponsored by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute

UCHI logoProject Title: Museums and Civic Discourse: Past, Present, & Emerging Futures
Student Apprentice and Major: Samantha Mairson, Digital Media and Design
Faculty Mentor and Department: Clarissa Ceglio, Digital Media and Design
Award Co-Sponsored by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute

Project Title: Neuro-Political Ideology: Motivated Reasoning Among Political Partisans
Student Apprentice and Major: Thomas Martella, Cognitive Science
Faculty Mentor and Department: Mikhael Shor, Economics

Project Title: Multi-Level Environmental Governance: Land Use Change and Carbon Emissions
Student Apprentice and Major: Edward McInerney, Political Science
Faculty Mentor and Department: Prakash Kashwan, Political Science

Project Title: Portraits of English/Language Arts Instruction with High and Low Evaluation Ratings
Student Apprentice and Major: Rachael Orbe, Secondary English Education & English
Faculty Mentor and Department: Rachael Gabriel, Curriculum and Instruction

Project Title: Effects of Attention on Lexically Informed Perceptual Learning
Student Apprentice and Major: Jacqueline Ose, Physiology and Neurobiology & Psychology
Faculty Mentor and Department: Rachel Theodore, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Project Title: The Influence of Comfort Measures on the Infant’s Microbiota in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Student Apprentice and Major: Samantha Poveda, Nursing
Faculty Mentor and Department: Xiaomei Cong, Nursing

Project Title: Economics of Certification and Quality Disclosure
Student Apprentice and Major: Joseph Roessler, Economics & Mathematics
Faculty Mentor and Department: Talia Bar, Economics

Project Title: “Reel” Police, Prosecutors, and Portrayals of the Use of Force: Assessing the Lessons of Law and Order: SVU within the Current Legal and Political Climate
Student Apprentice and Major: Amy Saji, Political Science
Faculty Mentor and Department: Kimberly Bergendahl, Political Science

Project Title: Daniel Alarcón and the Peruvian Post-Conflict, Transnational Cultural Field
Student Apprentice and Major: Emily Socha, Spanish & Management
Faculty Mentor and Department: Guillermo Irizarry, Literatures, Cultures, and Languages

Project Title: Extension of the Prototype Willingness Model to Workplace Deviance
Student Apprentice and Major: Ryan Thibodeau, Psychology
Faculty Mentor and Department: Dev Dalal, Psychological Sciences

• Congratulations, Summer 2015 SURF Award recipients!

husky-statueThe Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce the selection of 35 undergraduate students to receive SURF Awards in support of their summer undergraduate research projects. The faculty review committee was impressed by the very high caliber of the 107 applications submitted this year.

Click here to view the full list of Summer 2015 SURF award recipients.

Congratulations to the SURF awardees! Your academic achievements, curiosity, initiative, and motivation were evident in your applications. You have a challenging summer of deep engagement with the process of research ahead of you. We look forward to hearing about all you learn!

We thank the faculty members who supported SURF applicants in a range of roles: mentors, letter writers, and faculty review committee members! SURF represents a collaborative effort between students and faculty. This program would simply not be possible without the support and participation of the UConn faculty!

OUR also extends thanks to SURF supporters in the UConn community. We are grateful to the Provost’s Office and to the Deans of the Schools and Colleges of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources; Education; Engineering; Fine Arts; Nursing; and Pharmacy, who all contributed funding to the SURF competition this year. Alumni, parents, and friends of UConn also helped fund SURF awards. This collaborative funding effort ensures that SURF supports a diverse array of undergraduate research endeavors. We are grateful to all of our program partners for making intensive summer research opportunities available to students seeking to enrich their undergraduate experience in this way.

Once again, congratulations to those students offered 2015 SURF awards, and good luck with your summer projects!

• Congratulations, Spring 2015 UConn IDEA Grant Recipients!

idea_logo_standard_color_bottomWEB_cropCongratulations to the thirty-seven UConn undergraduates who have been awarded UConn IDEA Grants in the spring 2015 funding cycle!

Twenty-five of the award recipients will be completing individual projects, and twelve will be working on collaborative group projects. The award recipients represent a variety of disciplines, from music education to civil engineering, environmental science to molecular and cell biology, and campus affiliations, including one recipient from the Stamford campus.

Click here to view the full list of spring 2015 UConn IDEA Grant award recipients.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn IDEA Grant and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects. We would also like to thank the faculty and staff from around the University who served as reviewers.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project. The next application deadline will be in December 2015.