2018 Awards Recipients

2018 Awards Recipients


Dr. Sinda Vanderpool
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Enrollment Management
Executive Vice President and Provost Office
Paul Foster Success Center

For efforts, in concert with the McNair granting and organizational team, in preparing a successful application for Baylor’s first McNair grant, thereby making a major contribution to available funding supporting undergraduate research and opening new opportunities for students from first generation, low income or under-represented groups.

With this award URSA also recognizes and thanks key members of the McNair team, including Baylor administrators, faculty, staff, graduate students, and non-Baylor consultants: Susan Bratton, Shirl Brown, Michelle Cohenour, Jewell Lockridge, Lisa McKethan, Elizabeth Palacios, Rachel Renbarger, Sarah Jane Murray, Lakia Scott, Joanna Spitz, Jasmine Stovall, Jorge Vielledent, Meaghann Wheelis, Emma Wood and Capri Woolridge.

Dr. Rizalia Klausmeyer
Senior Lecturer
Program Director, Science Living and Learning Center
Director, Science Research Fellows, College of Arts and Sciences

For repeated contributions to expanding undergraduate research opportunities, including organizing numerous events for pre-health students, for foundational leadership of the Science Living and Learning Center, for efforts to establish the Science Research Fellows major track in the College of Arts and Sciences, for administrative support of the B-TRUE program, and as a founder of WISE, for assistance to female students in constructively addressing the social barriers they encounter in entering scientific research careers.

Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology
Officers and the Events Committee
Courtney Smith, William Chan, Jianna Lin, Paul Early, Zachary Pranske, Grace Kohn, Kiersten Scott, and Emily Ziperman Advisors: Dr. Tamarah Adair, Dr. Susan Bratton, Dr. Brian Raines

For further developing the fall workshop orienting undergraduate colleagues towards summer research opportunities and internships, for the continued improvement of Scientia, and for outstanding efforts to enrich the educational experience of fellow undergraduates.

Baylor Undergraduates @ The Veterans Administration Center of Excellence Research Program
Dr. Sara Dolan, Dr. Paul Fillmore, and Dr. Richard Sanker (Baylor University)
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 (Veterans Administration VISN 17 Center of Excellence)

For expanding professionally and socially meaningful research opportunities for Baylor undergraduates in the pre-health program and in health-related majors, for providing mentorship for research presentations and publications of exceptional quality, and for opening routes to future careers. With this award URSA also recognizes the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, the Department of Speech and Communication Disorders, Baylor Pre-health Programs, and the Co-operating Staff and Physicians at the Doris Miller Veterans Administration Medical Center.


The Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award is awarded to an individual faculty researcher or faculty research team that demonstrates excellence in mentoring undergraduate students in a research setting.

Dr. Mikeal Parsons
Arts and Humanities
Department of Religion
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Melanie Sekeres
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Karen Melton
Professional Fields
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

2018 URSA Awards Program including a complete listing of student awards