UCR

UC Riverside Academic Senate



Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research


The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research is given annually to two graduating seniors who have conducted outstanding research or creative work and to two faculty members with a distinguished record of fostering undergraduate research or creative activity.

2014 – 15 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Recipients

Eugene Nothnagel

Eugene A. Nothnagel

Eugene A. Nothnagel
Professor
Botany and Plant Sciences

In 32 years at the University of California, Riverside, Dr. Eugene Nothnagel has mentored 115 undergraduate students in laboratory research. Many of Dr. Nothnagel’s students have made presentations or posters at the UCR Undergraduate Research Symposium and other venues. Dr. Nothnagel has coauthored 4 refereed publications with three different undergraduates. Dr. Nothnagel was also awarded the 2011-2012 Faculty Mentor of the Year Award from the University Honors Program. Students from Dr. Nothnagel’s lab are involved in fellowships and programs such as the Chancellor’s Research Fellowship, the STEM program, and other mini-grant programs. One of his nominating students writes “Dr. Nothnagel is unlike any other faculty member in that he takes time to get to know each of his undergraduates and works with them one-on-one to help them become students who are able to think critically and participate in research”, another writes “Dr. Nothnagel is passionate about his research and he shows care for his students”, and another writes “Dr. Nothnagel made me realize that with hard work, I am able to achieve my highest goals as a student and as a scientist”. Many of Dr. Nothnagel’s students have received admission to graduate school, medical school and other postgraduate health sciences schools.

Joel Sachs

Joel L. Sachs
Associate Professor
Biology

In 32 years at the University of California, Riverside, Dr. Eugene Nothnagel has mentored 115 undergraduate students in laboratory research. Many of Dr. Nothnagel’s students have made presentations or posters at the UCR Undergraduate Research Symposium and other venues. Dr. Nothnagel has coauthored 4 refereed publications with three different undergraduates. Dr. Nothnagel was also awarded the 2011-2012 Faculty Mentor of the Year Award from the University Honors Program. Students from Dr. Nothnagel’s lab are involved in fellowships and programs such as the Chancellor’s Research Fellowship, the STEM program, and other mini-grant programs. One of his nominating students writes “Dr. Nothnagel is unlike any other faculty member in that he takes time to get to know each of his undergraduates and works with them one-on-one to help them become students who are able to think critically and participate in research”, another writes “Dr. Nothnagel is passionate about his research and he shows care for his students”, and another writes “Dr. Nothnagel made me realize that with hard work, I am able to achieve my highest goals as a student and as a scientist”. Many of Dr. Nothnagel’s students have received admission to graduate school, medical school and other postgraduate health sciences schools.

Elma Frias

Chemistry

Elma Frias has established herself as one of the leading undergraduate students in the Chemistry department. Ms. Frias wrote a proposal for the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, and was awarded this prestigious and distinctive honor last spring. This achievement has enabled her to continue her research and she has chosen to investigate the role of astrocytes during Toxoplasma infection in the brain. Ms. Frias presented her research at the Southern California Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium and the UCR Undergraduate Research Symposium. She has also attended and presented at many Brain Awareness Days here at UCR and within the region. One of her nominating faculty writes “her presentations were perhaps the most impressive oral talk I have seen given by an undergraduate researcher”, and another writes “I have had many undergraduate and graduate students rotate in my lab and I think Elma has been the most independent, resourceful and active of them all”. Ms. Frias is a co-author on a paper that was published in the Open Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, and a co-author on a paper that has recently been submitted to the journal ASN Neuro. Ms. Frias is also a co-author on a patent from work she did with Dr. Matthew Gdovin at the University of Texas. Ms. Frias is an exceptional member of both Dr. Jack Eichler and Dr. Emma Wilson’s laboratories. Ms. Frias has been chosen to interview at the following schools for their graduate program: Princeton University, Yale University, University of Texas-San Antonio and UCR. Ms. Frias has proven her laboratory skills and that she can contribute to research that leads to publication in peer-reviewed journals. Ms. Frias is a truly outstanding student and a fine example of our UCR undergraduates.


Nicole De Silva

History

Nicole De Silva is one of the most thoughtful and intellectually curious undergraduates in the History department. Ms. De Silva completed an award-winning Senior Thesis for the University Honors Program on “Cottage on the Hill: A Quilted Narrative of the New Hampshire Hayes Family,” which was published in the UCR History Department’s Cornerstone Journal. Ms. De Silva has also published an article in the UCR Undergraduate Research Journal. While her other research led the Riverside Metropolitan Museum to issue her an invitation to write an essay and edit and publish a book of photographs from the museum collections related to sporting culture in the region. This project will serve as Ms. De Silva’s secondary honors thesis focused on the changing landscape of the late 19th Century Riverside. She has excelled at her accelerated program while working, doing community service, and double-majoring, all while maintaining a perfect GPA. Ms. De Silva has received funding and admissions offers to attend the PhD programs in history at UC Santa Barbara and USC. One of her nominating faculty members writes “Ms. De Silva is an extremely promising student—among the top 1 per cent of those I have taught at UCR since 2006—whose research, service to local historical organizations and museums, and publication track record is simply superb”, and another writes “Nicole De Silva is a born historian, even as she has provided one of the most developed voices in seminar, Nicole is also consistently generous and gracious in acknowledging other students’ contributions”.


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