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Budding researchers honored with Fletcher Awards

Office of Undergraduate Research recognizes six students, two faculty with annual awards
fletcher awards
Danielle Llevada ’23 of the School of Communication is one of four students to receive a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant for her work in developing a new television comedy series that depicts depression and mental health.

The Office of Undergraduate Research recognized six undergraduate students and two faculty members during the Fletcher Awards ceremony on Dec. 2 in Evanston.

The $250 prize, funded by the Fletcher Family Foundation, honors outstanding undergraduates for research conducted with support from a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG). Since last year, the Fletcher Awards also recognize rising research stars and excellence in research mentorship through the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP). 

SURGs award students $4,000 to do an independent academic or creative project, in all fields of study, under faculty supervision. URAP pays student research assistants to work with a faculty mentor on their research project to provide research-related skills.

“Undergraduate research challenges students to think and collaborate in new ways, to add meaningful knowledge to the world, and to raise the bar of their own expectation,” said Peter Civetta, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “While we know research is impactful, we also know that students do not necessarily know how to engage in — or even approach — research. These programs, and specifically these faculty mentors, provide transformative opportunities and, when given these opportunities, the Fletcher Award winners show what is possible.”

Summer Undergraduate Research Grant winners

John Chen ’24 of McCormick is mentored by Erica Hartmann on a project examining how antimicrobial surfaces and textiles impact bacterial viability under different relative humidities.

Studying temporal and budget dynamics in education crowdfunding, Elizabeth Dudley ’24 of Weinberg is mentored by Elizabeth Gerber.

Elena Housteau ’24 of Weinberg is exploring differences in the connectivity of brain networks in normally-aging and Parkinson’s disease subjects in a project guided by Caterina Gratton.

Mentored by David Tolchinsky, Danielle Llevada ’23 of the School of Communication is developing a new television comedy series that depicts depression and mental health. 

Undergraduate Research Assistant Program winners

Sophia Huang ’25 of Weinberg, mentored by by Gregory Phillips II, is working on a project titled “Intersectional Approaches to Population-Level Health Research: Role of HIV Risk and Mental Health in Alcohol Use Disparities among Diverse Sexual Minority Youth.”

Kadin Mills ’24 of Medill is mentored by Patty Loew on a media project that will invite public audiences to explore their connections to the changing climate and their identities as changemakers.

Undergraduate Research Assistant Program faculty award winners

Sara Moreira of the Kellogg School of Management is mentoring Kushal Mungee on a project titled “The Anatomy of Financial Innovation.”

Jason Roberts of the Office of Fellowships and the School of Communication is mentoring Petra Popper Freedman on “Too Big to Screen: Moving-Image Media and the Great Recession.”