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Record number of Auvil fellowships awarded
Monday, Oct. 24, 2011
By Beverly Makhani, University College
PULLMAN, Wash. - Representing fields of research ranging from bioengineering to history and economics to materials science, 43 undergraduates have been named recipients of Auvil Scholars Fellowships from the University College at Washington State University.
"We are very pleased to announce the largest number of awards ever from the Auvil awards fund,” said Shelley Pressley, director of undergraduate research. "We received 91 applications from students, so the competition for awards this year was great. Our reviewers faced difficult decisions.
"Those selected to receive an Auvil award are representative of disciplines across the university, and their individual research projects strongly merit this funding support,” she said.
Statistics show that seniors submitted 56 percent of the applications and received 60.5 percent of the awards; juniors 34.1 percent and 27.9 percent; sophomores 8.8 percent and 9.3 percent; and freshmen 1.1 percent and 2.3 percent.
Auvil recipients’ majors extend across six academic colleges. Fifteen awardees list majors in the College of Liberal Arts; 12 in the College of Veterinary Medicine; nine each in the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Sciences; four in the College of Engineering and Architecture; and one in the College of Education. Note that some students list a single major; those indicating two may have listed majors in the same or in different colleges. Eighteen of the awardees are members of the Honors College at WSU, which is in addition to their academic college(s).
This fall’s Auvil fellows and their mentors also represent three campuses: Pullman, WSU Vancouver and WSU Tri-Cities.
In alphabetical order by last name, this year’s 43 Auvil fellows are:
Matthew Allan, a senior food science major mentored by faculty member Amit Dhingra
Loren S. Ariza, senior botany major mentored by Asaph Cousins
Hannah R. Balash, senior Spanish and basic medical science major in Honors mentored by James Pru
Omar Bayomy, senior neuroscience major in Honors mentored by James Krueger
Kyle P. Blum, senior bioengineering major mentored by Anita Vasavada
Sarah E. Brewer, sophomore agricultural biotechnology and genetics major in Honors mentored by Norman Lewis
Kevin N. Brown, senior biology major mentored by Subra Muralidharan
Teea Bunker, sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology major mentored by Subra Muralidharan
Ryan W. Christian, junior agricultural biotechnology major and Honors College student mentored by Amit Dhingra
Charles E. Christianson, senior integrated plan sciences/field crop management major mentored by Laura Lavine
Nicole C. Clark, junior biochemistry and molecular biology major mentored by Chengtao Her
Kristen R. Coan, senior history major mentored by Jesse Spohnholz
Marea Cobb, junior biology major mentored by Cynthia Cooper (both at WSU Vancouver)
Patrick R. Colbert, senior agriculture technology and management major mentored by Jim Durfey
Shealyn M. Comstock, senior speech and hearing sciences major in Honors mentored by Teresa Cardon
Graham C. Dart, senior music and economics major in Honors mentored by Shannon Scott
Jhoana J. Duran, junior political science/global politics major mentored by Raymond Herrera
Megan M. Elsarelli, junior neuroscience and pre-vet major in Honors mentored by Sue Ritter
Melody D. Fulton, junior biochemistry and general biology major mentored by Cliff Berkman
Elizabeth Graham, junior neuroscience major in Honors mentored by Gary Wayman
Fiorella C. Grandi, sophomore biochemistry major in Honors mentored by Wenfeng An
Briana Ingermann, senior physics major mentored by Matthew Duez
Michael B. Johnson, junior bioengineering and chemical engineering major mentored by Nehal Abu-Lail
Ram Kandasamy, senior neuroscience and psychology major mentored by Rebecca Craft
Quinn Langfitt, junior mechanical engineering major in Honors mentored by Grant Norton
Courtney D. Malcom, senior anthropology major mentored by Courtney Meehan
Emily Martin, junior biology and Spanish major in Honors mentored by Jeb Owen
James P. Martin, senior zoology major in pre-med mentored by Bill Snyder
Benjamin D. Maxfield, senior biology-ecology/evolutionary biology major mentored by Gary Thorgaard
Timothy J. McCord, senior kinesiology major mentored by Lawrence Bruya
Louis Neira, senior psychology major mentored by Brendan Walker
Evelyn Quezada, junior English major in Honors mentored by Olusola Adesope
Cristal Reyna, senior biochemistry major mentored by Hector Aguilar-Carreno
Nathan Richardson, junior neuroscience major mentored by Kathleen McAteer (both at WSU Tri-Cities)
Lauryn Ringwood, senior economic sciences/international trade major in Honors mentored by Robert Rosenman
Kaitlyn Scott, senior anthropology major mentored by Colin Grier
Ryan P. Scott, senior history/political science major in Honors mentored by Jeffrey Sanders
Erin M. Sebring, senior speech and hearing science major in Honors mentored by Phyllis Erdman
Kassiopeia A. Smith, sophomore materials science and engineering major mentored by Dave Bahr
Brody L. Teare, freshman organic agriculture major in Honors mentored by Colin Campbell
Steven A. Turi, senior economic sciences major in Honors mentored by Glenn Crellin
Daniel Vickoren, senior history major mentored by Robert Bauman (at WSU Tri-Cities)
Rachel Wanty, senior neuroscience and Spanish major in Honors mentored by Krzysztof Czaja
The Auvil Scholars Fellowship program began with a 2006 gift from the estates of Grady and Lillie Auvil, Wenatchee tree-fruit entrepreneurs. Grady Auvil is remembered as believing in the importance of education and research. Throughout his life, he and his wife contributed generously to the WSU community.
The awards provide up to $1,000 each to undergraduate researchers - that is, those conducting research, scholarship and/or creative activity with a mentoring faculty member from all majors. Since they began, Auvils have been granted to more than 100 students.
Recipients can be prospective or novice researchers, or they may be experienced researchers, but all have identified a faculty mentor. Awards are typically made in fall semester, but since the program began some awards also have been made in spring and summer.
Through Pressley and the University College at WSU, undergraduate research is given a university-wide focus. The unit provides information about on- and beyond-campus opportunities to participate in hands-on learning and discovery with the guidance of a mentor experienced in research. Undergraduate research hosts a one-week fundamentals program in summer for students new to research and hosts an annual symposium where students across the institution can display and discuss their work and findings with others.
Auvil fellows participate in the symposium, scheduled in 2012 for April 2.
Undergraduate research is identified by experts in higher education practice as a high-impact activity for student participants. For more information on the program at WSU, visit http://UndergraduateResearch.wsu.edu.