UC Riverside Academic Senate

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

2018–2019 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award Recipients

Wenwan Zhong

Dr. Zhong is currently a Professor of Chemistry. Since 2007, she has mentored 22 undergraduate students, resulting in seven publications with 11 students listed as coauthors along with dozens of presentations at undergraduate research conferences. Many students mentored by Dr. Zhong won competitive awards at UCR and elsewhere and continued graduate studies at universities such as Cornell and UCSD. As the letters from the students mentored by Dr. Zhong say, Dr. Zhong “is clearly one of the rare professors who genuinely cares and supports her students – selflessly investing her own time for their future success, in place of her own, and without asking for anything in return”. Recent UCR graduates who are continuing their graduate studies describe Dr. Zhong’s lab environment as “welcoming and nurturing to creativity and new ideas”. Dr. Wenwan Zhong exemplifies an outstanding record of mentoring undergraduate research that gives her students unique, invaluable experiences in independent planning and execution of research projects.

Daniel Castaneda, History

Daniel Castaneda has emerged as an exceptional young scholar. As a junior, he has already published two papers and won three research awards, which starts to bring him national recognition. As Prof. Eacott notes, “in two decades as a graduate student and professor of history I have never heard of a university (and in this case several, including UC Santa Barbara and the University of Illinois) flying in a history student to recruit him or her the summer before graduate applications are submitted”. While at UCR, Daniel attended a PhD course in History, in which he, as the course instructor says, “more than held his own” and “has become a regular fixture in the audience” at the seminars held by visiting scholars, behavior typical of a PhD student or a young professor.

Malcolm Tran, Biology

Malcolm Tran has emerged as a stellar undergraduate researcher. He already has three conference presentations, including one in a conference for established scholar, and one publication. His mentor, Prof. Talbot notes: “Malcolm is an exceptional student, who stands out among the many students I have mentored at UCR. I would rank him in the top 2-4 undergraduates (out of hundreds) who have done research in my lab.” He has been working in the lab of Prof. Talbot for three full years and has collaborated with graduate students and postdocs on several projects, exhibiting natural knack for using computer programs and learning software.

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