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2024 Excellence Awards

Friday, March 29, 2024
Time: 11:30 AM – 1 PM
Location: Morgridge International Reading Center

The Excellence Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate exceptional students and faculty mentors who work diligently throughout the year on their research and other endeavors. These awards are acknowledged annually during Student Research Week. Awards honored at this event are listed below. More information on these awards can be found on either the Office of Undergraduate Research or the College of Graduate Studies websites depending on the award.

Awards Presented


  • Excellence by a Graduate Student Researcher 
  • Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant


  • Undergraduate Mentor of the Year
  • Graduate Mentor of the Year
  • Champions of Undergraduate Research
  • Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Award

Previous Winners


Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching: 


Graduate Teaching Assistant: 


Undergraduate Mentor of the Year: 

Champions of Undergraduate Research


Distinguished Undergraduate Research Awards





Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching: Erica Goldstein

She is in the Education PhD, Exercise Physiology Track, College of Health Professions and Sciences. Erica was nominated by Associate Professor Dr. Matthew Stock in the School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy. 

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Davide Dal Pos

He is in the College of Sciences and is earning a doctorate in Biology. Davide was nominated by the following faculty: Dr. Barb Sharanowski; Ms. Michelle Yeargain; and Dr. John Fauth. 

Undergraduate Mentor of the Year: Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse, Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences

 This year’s Mentor of the Year has had a profound impact on her students’ undergraduate careers. One of her mentees writes “what really stood out to me was the incredible encouragement, support, and patience she displayed as my research advisor…I can truly say that she is always pushing her students to success.”

Champions of Undergraduate Research

  • Chrysalis Wright, Department of Psychology, College of Sciences
  • Jonathan Caranto, Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences

Distinguished Undergraduate Research Awards


  • May: Riley Shurack, whose mentor is Dr. Jeanette Garcia, Health Sciences
  • June: Juliet Cahow whose mentor is Dr. Anne Bubriski, Women’s and Gender Studies,
  • July: Geela Margo Ramos who is mentored by Dr. Joon-Hyuk Park, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • August: Julia Rifenberg, whose mentor is Dr. Valerie Sims, Psychology
  • September: Cerena Moreno who is mentored by Dr. Wencai Zhang, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
  • October: Angela Shar who is mentored by Dr. Mehdi Razavi, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
  • November: Christine Sarkis whose mentor is Dr. Anna Forsman, Biology
  • December: Neda Hamood whose mentor is Dr. Raheleh Ahangari, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences


  • January: Ana Garcia whose mentor is Dr. Jeffrey Bedwell, Psychology
  • February: Marnie Williams who is mentored by Dr. James Hickman, Chemistry
  • March: Tyler Morrill who’s mentored by Dr. Carlos Borges, Mathematics