Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

URSA ceremony honors contributions to undergraduate research

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The OVPR and the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) steering committee sponsored the first-ever URSA awards ceremony this month. Dr. Truell Hyde, vice provost for research, presented plaques and certificates honoring administrators, faculty and students who have contributed to the growth of undergraduate research at Baylor.

Dr. Susan Bratton, faculty director of URSA, said committee members chose the theme of ‘Founding’ for the event in honor of those who helped lay the groundwork for the expansion of research as a component of the Baylor undergraduate experience.  The committee also created a new award to recognize individuals who have played particularly significant roles in the growth of undergraduate research.

“We wanted to recognize the vital work that helped to develop undergraduate research opportunities,” said Bratton. “We’re presenting three Exceptional Service Awards to individuals whose service and leadership have provided contributions of long-term value to undergraduate research at Baylor.”

In addition to the Exceptional Service Awards, URSA also presented its Mentor of the Year and Leadership in Undergraduate Research Awards, as well as recognizing the students who presented the most outstanding research posters at URSA Scholars Week.

Exceptional Service Award

Susan Colon
Associate Professor
Honors College
Dr. Colon was the founding faculty advisor for The Pulse, Baylor’s first undergraduate research journal.  The journal has helped students gain valuable experience preparing their research results for professional publication, helping them to develop writing skills and opening a wide range of professional and academic options.  Colon’s family accepted the posthumous award on her behalf.

Elizabeth Vardaman
Associate Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
Dean Vardaman has demonstrated exceptional initiative and persistence in organizing new programs in support of undergraduate research. She was an inaugural member of the URSA steering committee, and her work led directly to the establishment of URSA as a viable, all-campus program.  She was also one of the initial organizers of URSA Scholars Week.

Taylor Kohn
University Scholar
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
The only student honored with an Exceptional Service Award, Kohn led the effort to establish Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science & Technology (BURST), Baylor’s first student organization dedicated to science and technology research. He dedicated significant time to growing the organization through administration and outreach, even while taking a full course schedule and conducting independent research.

2013 Mentor of the Year

Dr. Steven Driese
Professor, Department of Geology
College of Arts and Sciences
For encouraging geology faculty to support undergraduate research, and for setting an example himself through supervision of students’ capstone and independent research projects.

Dr. Frieda Blackwell
Professor, Department of Modern Foreign Languages
College of Arts and Sciences
For leadership in promoting undergraduate research in the humanities, vision in establishing Scholars Week platform presentations, and her personal supervision of numerous undergraduate projects.

2013 Leadership in Undergraduate Research Award

Department of Biology
Dr. Robert Doyle, Department Chair
For initiating integrative freshman courses with research-based laboratories under the instructional supervision of Drs. Tamarah Adair, Bryan Gibbon and Marty Harvill.

Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology (BURST) 2011-2013
For initiating a Baylor-based scientific research organization run by and for undergraduates under the presidencies of Taylor Kohn and Kelli Hicks.
Faculty Advisors: Drs. Tamarah Adair and Susan Bratton.

2013 URSA Scholars Week Outstanding Undergraduate Research Posters

Students whose research posters were judged among this year’s outstanding projects were recognized and received certificates. Click here for more information and a list of the winning posters.

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  1. Pingback: Nominate an outstanding research mentor for URSA Awards in Excellence and Service | Research Tracks

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