Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Awards


The Michigan State University Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award is presented annually in recognition of those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers.

Three awards are presented each spring at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) Awards Ceremony:

  • Faculty Mentor of the Year – Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering related disciplines
  • Faculty Mentor of the Year – Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts related disciplines
  • Supervisor of the Year – All Disciplines (staff member, post-doctoral fellow, research associate, graduate student)

Finalists for Faculty Mentor of the Year will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and finalists for Supervisor Mentor of the Year will receive a $500 honorarium.

Eligibility

  • Any MSU faculty member (e.g., tenure track, fixed term), specialist (e.g., advisor, research, teaching, outreach, extension), staff member, post-doctoral fellow, research associate, lab manager, or graduate student currently mentoring an MSU undergraduate student researcher
  • Previous winners are not eligible for 5 years from the date of last award
  • Nominated by an undergraduate student currently enrolled at MSU or December graduate

Selection Criteria

We are seeking mentors who exemplify the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrated commitment to undergraduate research
  • Strong professional mentoring relationship with student
  • Role model as a researcher and mentor

Nomination Process

In order to nominate a mentor, the student must do the following:

  1. Complete the nomination form -- Nomination period has been extended to October 16, 2023 - January 7, 2024
  2. Submit a nomination letter (less than 1000 words) that addresses the selection criteria listed above
  3. All nomination materials must be submitted by Sunday, January 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM

Nomination letter must be less than 1,000 words. Letters longer than 1,000 words will be truncated. Additional nomination letters by other undergraduate students or recent graduates are accepted. Students may also nominate more than one mentor, using separate a form and letter for each mentor. Nominations will not be considered complete until we have received both the nomination form and the nomination letter.


Past Award Recipients

2023 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities & Arts: Brooke Ingersoll, Psychology

Sciences, Mathematics & Engineering: Ilce Medina-Meza, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Supervisor: Zinan Wang, Entomology

2022 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Gabriel Wrobel, Anthropology

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Andras Komaromy, Small Animal Clinical Sciences 

Supervisor: Erkan Kocas, International Trade Research 

2021 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Amy Nuttall, Human Development and Family Studies

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Sarah Comstock, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Supervisor: Christina Reppucci, Psychology

2020 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: John Waller, History

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Gina Leinninger, Physiology

Supervisor: Keenan Noyes, Chemistry

2019 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Alexa Veenema, Psychology

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Adam Lock, Animal Science

2018 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Daniel Menchik, Lyman Briggs College and College of Social Science

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Patricia Norris, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

2017 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Amber Pearson, Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: S. Patrick Walton, Chemical Engineering

2016 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Howard Bossen, Journalism

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Evangelyn Alocilja, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

2015 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Denise Hershey, Nursing

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Richard Lunt, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

2014 Winners

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts: Natalie Phillips, English

Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering: Christopher Waters, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics