Left, student researchers Michael Valencia, Victoria Mancillas and Annie Luksch with faculty mentor,
Dr. Myeongwoo Lee. Right, leadership award recipient Dr. Sinda Vanderpool with URSA director, Dr. Susan Bratton.
WACO, Texas (April 26, 2018) – An April 19th awards lunch capped off the 10th annual Undergraduate
Research and Scholarship Achievement (URSA) Scholars Week. In the last decade, since 2008 when 101
students participated in “Scholars Day,” Scholars Week has shown continuous growth. This year’s
March 26-29 event had 450 undergraduate researchers participate from more than 30 academic departments
make 64 platform presentations and display 143 posters detailing their projects. Over 100 faculty mentors
guided the students’ research.
More than a hundred undergraduate student researchers received awards at the lunch for the most outstanding
research projects presented. A complete list of the award-winning students and projects can be reviewed here.
The following leadership and program awards were also presented to key URSA supporters and to faculty whose
mentoring of student researchers has contributed significantly to the success of Scholars Week.
Recipients of URSA Leadership Awards for 2018 were Dr. Sinda Vanderpool, Associate Vice Provost for Academic
Enrollment Management in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Paul Foster Success
Center; Dr. Rizalia Klausmeyer, Senior Lecturer, Program Director, Science Living and Learning Center, Director,
Science Research Fellows, College of Arts and Sciences; Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology
(BURST) URSA Officers and Events Committee members Courtney Smith, William Chan, Jianna Lin, Paul Early, Zachary
Pranske, Grace Kohn, Kiersten Scott, and Emily Ziperman and URSA advisors Dr. Tamarah Adair, Dr. Susan Bratton,
and Dr. Brian Raines; and the Baylor Undergraduates @ The Veterans Administration Center of Excellence for Research
on Returning War Veterans, including Baylor faculty members Dr. Sara Dolan, Dr. Paul Fillmore, and Dr. Richard Sanker;
and from the Veterans Administration VISN 17 Center of Excellence Dr. Richard Seim, Dr. Laura Zambrano-Vazquez, Dr. Justin Benzer,
Dr. Bryann DeBeer, Dr. Sheila Frankfurt, Dr. Evan Gordon, Dr. Rakeshwar Guleria, Dr. Geoffrey May, Dr. Eric Meyer,
Dr. Joseph Mignogna, Dr. Steven Nelson, and Dr. Yvette Szabo.
Three faculty members received 2018 Mentors of the Year Awards: Dr. Mikeal Parsons, Professor in the Department of Religion
in the College of Arts and Sciences received the award for Arts and Humanities; Dr. Melanie Sekeres, Assistant Professor in
the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences received the award for Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics; and Dr. Karen Melton, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in
the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences received the award in Professional Fields