Presented by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Undergraduate Research Awards are presented annually to recognize undergraduate students who have completed distinguished and exceptional research. Students who present research at USD’s IdeaFest are automatically nominated for the award; a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and staff from across campus then reviews the submissions and selects the final 12 recipients.  

“We encourage our undergraduates to participate in research to help direct and further their education in an area of their personal passion and then share the fruits of their work with others,” said Kevin O'Kelley, Ph.D., assistant vice president of research compliance. “These 12 students have completed research or creative scholarship work of a caliber that distinguishes them from all other students, and we are proud to present them with Undergraduate Research Awards.”

The 12 students who received an Undergraduate Research Award, in addition to a $500 cash prize, include the following.

  • Alexis Slack (third-time recipient), “Using μCT Scans to Create 3D Skull Puzzles as Open Access Pedagogical Tools for Anatomy Classes”
  • Brylie Hartwig, “Effects of Selenium Pollution on Overwintering in the Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris Maculata)”
  • Ellen Mallory, “Public Health Interventions for Mental Health Issues at Colleges and Universities”
  • Evan Sippel, “Impact of the Top-Two Primary on Electoral Competition in California”
  • Gabriella Beberg, “Does Length Change in Telomeres Between Hatchlings, Fledglings, and One-Year Old Chestnut-Crowned Babblers Predict Reproductive Behavior in a Cooperatively Breeding Species?”
  • Grant Budden, “Monitoring Selenium Bioaccumulation in False Map Turtles (Graptemys Pseudogeographica)”
  • Jordan Grothe, “Analyzing Heat Generated from Electro-Osmotic Flow Utilizing Computational Fluid Dynamics”
  • Makayla Mofle, “Localizing Dopamine and Other Catecholamines in Regions of Zebrafish Brains”
  • Olivia Roberts, “Understanding Musical Systems with Zn-Cayley Graphs”
  • Sadikshya Ghimire, “Be Real: A Psychological Evaluation of 2022’s Most Influential Social Networking Application”
  • Veronica Knippling (second-time recipient), “The Stilwell Papers”
  • Wyatt Wiebelhaus (second-time recipient), “Kicking Up Dust on Utah’s Off-Road Vehicle Trails: PI-SWERL Assessment of Anthropogenic Dust Emissions”
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