2019 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award Recipients

Dr. Anna Ritz (Junior Faculty member at an Associate, BS, or MS granting university): Assistant Professor in the Biology Department, Reed College. As a computer scientist working in a Biology department, Dr. Ritz brought computational thinking to her college. Nearly 60 percent of students in her programming-heavy introductory classes have been women or non-binary individuals. She has supervised several projects in which undergraduates researched applications of computer science to questions in the field of genetics, including a project extending the use of hypergraphs to represent cancer cell data, which won Best Poster at ACM-BCB 2016.

Dr. Tzu-Yi Chen (Senior Faculty member at an Associate, BS, or MS granting university): Professor of Computer Science, Pomona College. Dr. Chen approaches undergraduate mentoring as an opportunity to help students gain skills and confidence in all aspects of the research process, from contextualizing a problem to publicizing the findings. Projects she has supervised have led to 13 co-author credits for undergraduate students on conference and journal publications. She also utilizes research meetings as a chance to provide supplemental guidance and mentorship for students from underrepresented groups.

Dr. Natalia Villanueva Rosales (Junior Faculty member in research track at PhD granting university): Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Rosales has mentored 26 students in undergraduate research, 96.15 percent of whom have been members of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups. Her own research explores the ways diverse teams with membership spanning different disciplines, cultures, and geographical borders use and share knowledge. Her efforts have led to international exchange opportunities for undergraduate research students, as well as funding for more than 20 undergraduate Research Assistant positions.

Dr. Katie Siek (Senior Faculty member in research track at PhD granting university): Associate Professor of Informatics, Indiana University. Of the 52 students Dr. Siek has mentored in undergraduate research, 73 percent have been women. Her collaborations with undergraduates resulted in 13 highly competitive, peer-reviewed conference papers, with 22 undergraduates listed as co-authors. She started a yearly symposium where students can present their projects to the public, and co-organized a three-day research intensive for 92 undergraduate women called “Hello Research!” She also mentors other faculty in designing inclusive research projects for undergraduates.