2021 Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Research (MAUR) Recipients

Congratulations to the 2021 NCWIT Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Research recipients! 

  • Damla Turgut, Senior faculty member (Professor or Associate rank—more than 6 years) of research-track at PhD granting university
    Charles Millican Professor of Computer Science, University of Central Florida

    Dr. Turgut served as PI for an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in which 50 percent of the participants were women, and more than 75 percent were Hispanic, African American, and/or first-generation college students. The program produced such projects as smart mobility devices and ScaledHome, a reconfigurable model of a suburban home and its external environment. Of the students who co-authored papers as a result of this program, 38 percent were women. 

  • Diba Mirza, Junior faculty member (Assistant or Lecturer rank—6 years or less) at Associate, BS, or MS granting university or teaching-track faculty at PhD granting university
    Associate Teaching Professor in Computer Science, University of California (UC) Santa Barbara

    In 2018, Dr. Mirza established an Early Research Scholars Program at UC Santa Barbara, expanding a program already in operation at UC San Diego. More than 50 percent of program participants have been women, and three student teams (including eight women students) have published four first-author papers at peer-reviewed conferences. In addition to teaching an undergraduate research methods course, Dr. Mirza has co-mentored 28 students. She also organizes an annual student research showcase. 

  • Haiyan Cheng, Senior faculty member (Professor, Associate or Lecturer rank—more than 6 years) at Associate, BS, or MS granting university or teaching-track faculty at PhD granting university
    Associate Professor of Computer Science, Willamette University

    Dr. Cheng’s approach to mentoring is to immerse students in real-world problems by integrating computational science and data science into interdisciplinary research. Her students have participated in cross-disciplinary projects in such areas as numerical methods for forecasting weather and computational social science. Fifteen of her students, including five women, have presented posters at local conferences. She has also mentored students through upper division courses that combine computational thinking, data-driven problem solving, project-based learning, and research.

  • Gloria Washington, Junior Faculty member (Assistant or Lecturer rank—6 years or less) of research-track at PhD granting university
    Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Howard University

    Dr. Washington has mentored numerous students through a DHS/DOD-funded grant designed to expose undergraduates to research in biometrics and cybersecurity. She is also Co-PI for a program called I-RISE Scholars, in which undergraduate students have the opportunity to work directly with her graduate students on research in biometrics, computer science education, and augmented reality. In addition, Dr. Washington teaches an undergraduate research class in which students pursue independent research projects of their own.