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USD Announces UDiscover Summer Research Scholars

Old Main on the University of South Dakota campus The University of South Dakota announces the 2020 UDiscover Summer Research Scholars.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Council for Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship (CURCS) has selected 11 recipients of this summer’s UDiscover summer research program. The USD program is an academic opportunity for awardees to work under the guidance of their faculty mentor as paid student researchers and scholars, conducting projects over a 10-week period during the summer.

The 2020 awardees will work on research projects in history, psychology, conservation and ecology, communication sciences, audiology, basic biomedical sciences, chemistry and archival research. Their hands-on research experience will be supplemented by a series of professional development seminars that cover a variety of topics relevant to academic and research careers.

Including this year’s 11 scholars, 163 students have participated in UDiscover since the program's inception in 2006. Undergraduate research experiences have proven to have a strong positive impact on students and their post-graduation paths, with many finding the experience and skills gained invaluable.

Applying for UDiscover is open to USD full-time undergraduate students in any discipline. Each cohort of UDicover scholars presents their projects at the annual USD symposium, IdeaFest, the following spring. 

The 2020 UDiscover Scholars and Faculty Sponsors

  • Michaela Ahrenholtz, a neuroscience major from Denison, Iowa, will work with Kurt Hackemer, Ph.D.
  • Ashmita Ghosh, a psychology major from Gurugram India, will work with Sara Lowmaster, Ph.D.
  • Peyton Keller, a medical biology major from Byron, Illinois, will work with Jake Kerby, Ph.D.
  • Katie Brust, a biology and studio art major from Northfield, Minnesota, will work with Andrea Liebl, Ph.D.
  • Morgan Eikanger, a medical biology and English major from New Ulm, Minnesota, will work with Khosrow Rezvani, Ph.D.
  • Vanessa Weigel, a biology major from Scandia, Minnesota, will work with Jake Kerby, Ph.D.
  • Hailey Lammers, a communication sciences & disorders major from Norfolk, Nebraska, will work with Lindsey Jorgensen, Ph.D.
  • Madeleine Nelson, a medical biology major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will work with Doug Martin, Ph.D.
  • Luke Lewandowski, a chemistry major from Fort Dodge, Iowa, will work with Andrew Sykes, Ph.D.
  • Hanna Browder, a communication sciences & disorders major from Blythe, California, will work with Kyle Brouwer, Ph.D.
  • Jaren Voss, a philosophy major from Box Elder, South Dakota, will work with Scott Breuninger, Ph.D.

For more information about the UDiscover Scholars program email the Gallagher Center at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News