2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium: Honoring Mentors

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Undergraduate Research Symposium presenters extend thanks to their research mentors and others who have supported them through the research process.


I would like to thank my mentors, Dr. Anna Woodard, Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, Dr. Dezheng Huo, my fellow peers, Subomi Omoleye and Iyanu Akinyanju, and the Olopade lab for their support, mentorship, and advice!  -- Aarthi Koripelly

Peter Maurer, while a very accomplished researcher in his own right, is a fantastic research mentor that offers thoughtful advice and wisdom about how a researcher in his lab may make their project both interesting, fruitful, and meaningful. Thanks to his height, he not only can reach parts of the optical tables inaccessible to mere mortals, but he also inspires confidence in his young researchers that pursue projects about which they are passionate. He excels in teaching students not only in his lab, and not only to those he mentors, but also in his classes. -- Aidan Jones

I’d like to acknowledge Dr. Ming Xu and Dr. Qingyao Kong for their exceptional mentorship and guidance over the course of this project and my time in the lab. I have been challenged, pushed, and encouraged during my work with Dr. Xu and Dr. Kong, and I have become a better thinker and scientist as a result. -- Alexis Hatch

I would like to thank my Media Arts and Design professor, Jon Satrom, for helping me pursue unhinged topics in video game theory and for teaching me how to create my own artgames. He invited us to make meaning out of glitches, exploit mechanical blunders, and perhaps stray away from main objectives in favor of side quests. As an academic problem creator, not solver, his pedagogy suggested to me, I can discover and invent new forms of digital aesthetics within our communicative systems. Maybe taking the slow-mo punch of a lifetime from Matt (Wii Sports, 2006) was worth it, after all. -- Alina Kim

Presenters thank Rich Kron and Lauren Boegen for their invaluable mentorship and the University of Chicago Library staff for their support. We also thank The Kathleen and Howard Zar Library Fund and the National Science Foundation for their generous funding. -- Audrey Scott, Rowen Glusman, Isaiah Escapa

We would like to express gratitude to our research mentors, Dr. Maryellen Giger and Jordan Fuhrman. -- Beatrice Katsnelson, Elise Katsnelson

I want to thank Dr. Anzai and Dr. Benedetto for their wisdom, guidance, and consistent support while conducting this research. I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to intern with them last summer at NY Midtown OB/GYN and am extremely proud of the work that has transpired from my experience. They are incredible mentors that today continue to support me and acknowledge the future significance that this project will have on the OBGYN community.  -- Bella Gomez, Nicole Yao, Narvella Sefah

The Tian Lab is wonderful! I received such incredible mentorship and guidance from Bozhi Tian and Aleks Prominski on my summer project. -- Bernadette Miao

I would like to sincerely thank Professor Michael Dinerstein for his kind guidance throughout the project. -- Bruce Ke Zhen Wen

Thank you, Malte, for all of your help so far with this project! You have been an inspiration and mentor academically, professionally, and personally. I feel inspired to continue with research in the future and be a better, more passionate person overall. Thanks so much! -- Cal LeDoux

I would like to thank Professor Allison Squires for hosting my research project and providing me invaluable guidance and inspiration during the project. I would also like to thank Kyle Lin for teaching me hands-on experiments and supporting me generously whenever I need help. -- Dana Lin

I thank my research advisor, Professor Haryadi Gunawi, for his patience and direction throughout our collaboration on this project. -- Dang Nguyen

It has been a wonderful experience working with Professor Wald this past year, and I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate so closely with him on this project. His guidance and insights have helped this project be a success, and I have learned so much under his mentorship. -- Daniel Paraizo

I would like to express my gratitude to my mentors Dr. Giger and Jordan for their guidance and mentorship. -- Elise Katsnelson, Beatrice Katsnelson

I owe my learning and research experience to Professors Supratik Guha and Anindita Basu, who have so graciously helped me whenever I needed help and went out of their way to explain new concepts and techniques to me. I would also like to thank Vamsi Nittala, Suryakant Mishra, and Allison Hohreiter for teaching me not only about the components of this project, but about what it means to be a good scientist and work in a team. -- Emilio Rosas Linhard

I would like to express my deepest and most genuine gratitude to Professor Junhong Chen and Dr. Haihui Pu at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering as my progress in this research project wouldn’t have been possible without them. Throughout the way, they have been consistently supporting my work and guiding me in the right direction to achieve the results I have presented at this symposium. Their positive feedback and acknowledgement of my work also fueled me with great confidence and perseverance to persist in working on the research project. It is truly my honor to have a chance to work with such supportive and intelligent mentors and their mentorships will never be forgotten by myself. -- Eric Jiahan Zhao

I would like to give a huge thank you to my faculty research mentor, Dr. Greg Engel, for allowing me to pursue research in his lab. Likewise to my graduate student mentor, Coco Li, for all her tremendous help and advice as I worked on my project. Similarly to the rest of the Engel Group, thank you all for your support and friendliness! -- Hugh Cairney 

I would like to thank Dr. Anna Volerman and Dr. Michael Harries for bringing me onto this project as a second year in the College and for supporting me throughout the research process. This literature review has broadened my horizons on community-based research and has inspired me to continue exploring the intersection of education and healthcare. Additionally, your guidance throughout this research process has made it such an enjoyable experience that I will take with me along my research journey. This project is just the starting point of my research career, as I hope to continue clinical research through the next chapters of my life! -- Isabella Xu

I would like to thank Erick Bayala, my graduate student mentor, for all of the support he has given me since I joined the Kronforst Lab. Though I have only been a part of the project for a relatively short period of time, I have accomplished so much and produced beautiful work as a result of Erick's guidance. I wish him luck in his future pursuits at the University of Michigan and I look forward to seeing where his career will take him. I also want to thank Marcus Kronforst, my PI, for guiding me to this project and for all the help he has given me in discerning my next steps as a researcher, both within my undergraduate career and beyond. I look forward to another year of work in the Kronforst lab as I complete my thesis on aristaless2 and I cannot wait to see what else we uncover! -- Isabella Cisneros

Dr. Callard is an incredible mentor. She was the professor of the first Philosophy class I took at UChicago, and was incredibly influential in my decision to pursue Philosophy as my major. Having her as both a professor and a research mentor has been an amazing experience, and I have learned so much working with her as she writes her book. -- Jessica Aaron

Thank you so much to my research mentors, including Nancy Kawalek and Sunanda Prabhu-Gaunkar. I really appreciate your continued support and guidance -- it has inspired me to explore new fields and interests and has been immensely helpful every step of the way. -- Jessica Markman

Special thanks to Dr. Neda Laiteerapong and her research team, as well as the Department of General Internal Medicine!  -- Jielu Yu

Drs. Feldman, Garbow, and Quirk -- thank you so much for your guidance with this project, and for encouraging me to present our work! Your mentorship has been invaluable in my undergraduate research experience. -- Jillyn Turunen

Many thanks to Professor John Anderson and to Joseph Schneider -- both have been exceedingly generous and have gone above and beyond to support me with their time and effort. None of this would have been possible without them. -- Joel Gardner

Thank you to Elizabeth Chatterjee, my faculty advisor, for the incredibly generative conversations and her guidance throughout this project. Thank you to Colin Rydell, my faculty preceptor, for his stewardship of and steering all of us through this year-long research process. Thank you to my peer reviewers and fellow BA Thesis writers, Olivia Chilikoti, Brennan Szabo, and Ingrid Lam, for their insight, feedback, encouragement, inspiration, and solidarity. -- Jonathan Chung

I would like to thank my research mentor, Luka Pocivavsek, for providing me with the opportunity to engage deeply with his lab work and find my passion for research. He has provided me with a research experience that does not limit me to simple busywork but allows me to think critically about optimal ways to solve problems and partake in significant parts of the greater workflow of the lab projects. He has guided and mentored me through my research, teaching me important skills ranging from paying attention to details in the construction of a dataset to contextualizing the research work we do with respect to the greater literature. I’m truly appreciative of his support and mentorship, as it has further spurred me to engross myself in the research I do in his lab and make me look forward to going into lab every day.  -- Julius Kim

Our conversations with Nick Briz have helped guide our research into new and unexpected territory. When we discuss digital culture, he offers his perspective as someone who grew up in the 90s, an artist with a programming background, a professor and activist, a participant in 2010s vaporware (one of the aesthetic precursors mentioned in our presentation) and we (Navid and I) offer our perspective as the iPad babies who grew up, digital natives who came of age on and alongside today’s biggest social media platforms. Although Nick already holds an ocean of knowledge about the internet, I get the sense from him that we have something new to offer as young people concerned with some of the same issues that concern him: art and agency in the age of surveillance capitalism. -- k80 ambrose, Navid Mazidabadifarahani 

I would like to thank Prof Mark Levin for his mentorship and full-time support. I would also like to thank Dr Kate Berger, Dr Ben Raw, Julia Driscoll, Dr Tyler Pearson, Colin Lynch, Jason Thome, Ethan Hyland, Patrick Kelly and Dr Balu Dherange for their support, insight, wisdom and camaraderie. Without them, going to lab would not have been fun. -- Kaan Tarhan

I am grateful to Dr. Young-Kee Kim and the entire accelerator physics group for giving me the chance to learn from their experience and get involved with their high-impact research. Ryan and J.P. have been great mentors to me; they patiently answer my questions, keep me organized, and make the research process a lot of fun.  -- Kabir Dubey

We would like to warmly thank Dr. Hibino for his belief and support in us as aspiring researchers. His ideology that anyone can make the next big discovery in science has been a huge inspiration and has motivated us to take on projects that we otherwise would not have considered before. Beyond everything, Dr. Hibino has provided us with his endless support to take on these ambitious projects. -- Katherine Nurminsky, Stephanie Ran

I am deeply grateful to the lab members and international office at the Bochum University of Applied Sciences for making me feel welcome in Germany. I am especially thankful to my mentor Nora Schelte for teaching me how to conduct sustainability research and continuously providing feedback on my writing, fellow lab colleague Oskar Bauer for organizing programming workshops and familiarizing me with the data sets, and lab director Dr. Semih Severengiz for offering regular feedback on my data visualizations. -- Kelly Zhang

Thank you to Dr. Howard Nusbaum and John Veillette for mentoring me and working with me to develop this study!  -- Koby Rosen

I want to thank Tali Khain for leading me through and helping me in this project and for bearing with all the ups and downs of it. I would also like to thank Vincenzo Vitelli for giving me the opportunity to work on this and other projects over my college career. -- Lara Braverman

I would like to thank Professor Owen Kohl for starting my interest in the language politics of Ukraine and helping design the initial conceptions of my research. I would also like to thank my faculty mentor Professor Lenore Grenoble for supporting me through the research and writing process especially after recent events.  -- Lauren Cecchini

I would like to thank my mentors, Yonglan Zheng, Anna Woodward, Toshio Yoshimatsu, Lise Sveen, and Olufunmilayo Olopade, for all their help and guidance this year in the lab. I truly appreciate everything that they have done for me, and I wouldn’t succeed without them! -- Lingyue Yu

I wish to thank Ezra and Urs for their unending support and patience throughout this journey. -- Liviu Megherea

I’d like to thank Dr. David Miller for his advice and guidance throughout my research. Additionally, I’d like to thank Fukan Tang for his help and advice in the field of electronics and firmware. Furthermore, I am appreciative of all those in the Miller lab who are always ready to help and provide amazing insight to any discussion. I am also grateful for having the opportunity to research made possible by the Quad Faculty Research Grant (Hoeft). -- Mac Maedke

Behind every undergrad research assistant there are a dozen staff scientists, postdocs, and PIs questioning why they ever let this kid into their lab. As the kid in question, I would like to express my gratitude for the constant support, patience, and involvement of the members of my research group, who have mentored and shown me the rigorous and dedicated passion necessary to go from point A to point B in translational science. Thank you kindly as always. -- Manu Sundaresan

I would like to recognize the incredible work of Anidita Basu. In addition to being an amazing scientist, she has repeatedly gone out of her way to assist me in accomplishing my goals. I am so grateful to be in her lab. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge Andres Moya Rodriguez for being a terrific supervisor, making lab work fun, and always being available to lend a helping hand. Both of their skills and kindness cannot be overstated and I cannot recommend either of them enough. -- Maren Klineberg

I would like to acknowledge the following individuals without whose help this thesis would not have been possible: Dr. Sabina Shaikh, my faculty thesis advisor, Kristi Del Vecchio, my thesis preceptor, and the community organizers and activists from Market Box and Plant Chicago, for their willingness to share their stories and insights with me. -- Mari Knudson

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. Reder and Dr. Feng for their continuous and invaluable support as well as for providing me with the resources and advice in pursuing my research endeavors.  -- Maya Olcer

I would like to sincerely thank my research mentor Andrew Stier for his support and guidance. Andrew’s patience and mentorship throughout my work on this project have allowed me to learn to a degree greater than any other aspect in the college. I would also like to thank Marc Berman for his continuous counsel throughout this research process; it has given me a deep appreciation for all lab work and heightened my desire to work in the sciences. Additionally, I would like to thank Kaylah Thomas for all her help. Finally, I would like to thank all the members of the Environmental Neuroscience Laboratory for their kindness and friendship. -- Maya Ordonez

Sunanda Prabhu Gaunkar is an absolutely wonderful mentor who is both highly intelligent and a visionary when it comes to bridging science and art together. -- Meira Chasman

I sincerely thank Prof. Chibueze Amanchukwu and Peiyuan Ma for their indispensable mentorship, discussion, and encouragement for this research project. -- Michael Han

I cannot describe the degree to which I am thankful that I have been able to work with my P.I. and research mentor -- I have learned a lot, not just in practical skills for the actual science I am doing, but also in how to approach these adult worlds of academia which to me had seemed very ambigous and uncertain. The opportunity that the Undergraduate Research Symposium gave me to work with my mentors and begin to step out into the presenting of my work (and imposing actual deadlines and concrete results), has been somewhat terrifying, but I appreciate that I can try this in a more structured setting where people are helping me. Thanks to my mentor, my P.I., the Symposium, and the Quad Scholars program! -- Minerva Roscoe

I could not have completed this project without the help of Jennifer Koch and Dave Carey from the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, Laura Kelly from Kew, Royal Botanical Gardens in the U.K., and Tim Wootton from the University of Chicago’s Ecology and Evolution Department.  -- Miranda McKibben

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Professor Wenbin Lin for his mentorship and support throughout my journey as an undergraduate researcher. From the very beginnings of my endeavor into lab research, his direction and guidance have allowed me to hone my ability to ask critical questions, conduct quality research at the bench, and communicate that research to audiences. I would like to thank Xiaomin Jiang for teaching me the variety of methods necessary for biochemical and translational research, and for his patience whenever I encountered difficulty in applying those techniques. -- Morten Lee

I would like to thank Dr. Omid Kardan and Professor Monica Rosenberg for their guidance, support, and kindness throughout this project. I deeply admire the brilliance and thoughtfulness with which they approach their work and it has been a privilege and an honor to support their research and learn from them every day. -- Mudmee Sereeyothin

Thank you Dr. Yuzuru Anzai, Dr. Maria-Teresa Benedetto, and Dr. Teresa Cheon for your invaluable mentorship and the opportunity to work on this project. We greatly appreciate your support and guidance over the summer and throughout this past academic year! -- Nicole Yao, Narvella Sefah, Isabella Gomez

I would like to thank Dr. Cathryn Nagler for providing me with the opportunity to conduct this research and for supporting me. I would also like to thank Ande Hesser, a graduate student in the Nagler lab, for providing me with help and guidance throughout this project.  -- Nidhi Talasani

I would like to thank my graduate student mentor, now Dr. Heng Yi, for introducing me to all of the intricacies and aspects of total synthesis research as well as for his unrelenting support during my both initial and more independent phases working under him. I would also like to thank Professor Scott Snyder for warmly welcoming me to his research group and for his commitment to undergraduate education both in the classroom and laboratory settings. Lastly, I would like to thank all other members of the Snyder group for their help throughout this project and in general, for being amazing human beings! -- Noel Cercizi

I would like to thank Jas Brooks and Professor Pedro Lopes for expanding my understanding of chemosensory interfaces, without whom this research would not be possible. -- Noor Amin

I would like to thank my primary mentor, Dr. Gönen Memişoğlu, and my PI, Professor Alexander J. Ruthenburg, for their tremendous help with my research project itself and much-appreciated moral support during some of my most challenging quarters. Their mentorship has allowed me to grow and progress on my journey to becoming a better researcher. -- Paddy Liu

No words can describe how thankful I am to Dr. Jordan Slagowski. Jordan treated me as a peer and guided me like a mentor. He led me to meet Dr. Aygodan, who graciously accepted me into his lab, as did his members in his lab group, Dr. Erik Pearson and Daniela Olivera-Velarde. Without Jordan, simply put, I would not have realized my passion for research, and I for that, am forever grateful. -- Raj Tummala

I want to thank Dr. Bhalla for all of his mentorship and guidance over the past two years of my undergraduate career. He has shown me the utility of public health research during a tumultuous time in the world, and he has inspired me to integrate health research into my future career path. -- Ram Balasubramaniyan

I would like to thank Dr. LaBelle and my mentor in the lab, Katrina Hawley, for all their support and mentorship throughout this project! -- Rhea Shah

I would like to thank my research mentor and thesis advisor, David Miller, for his support and guidance throughout this project! -- Sadie Seddon-Stettler

I would like to extend my gratitude to my research mentors Dr. Ivan Moskowitz, Dr. Joshua Theisen, and Matthew Stocker for their unwavering guidance and support. Under their mentorship, I have grown as a student and researcher, and developed the skills and confidence to undertake this research endeavor.  -- Sandhini Agarwal

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on this project with Dr. Marlow -- collaborating with her has been extremely influential in my development as a science researcher. I’ve learned so much and it has been a wonderful experience. Thank you Dr. Marlow! -- Sarah Weber

This research was made possible during my curatorial internship by Dr. Orianna Cacchione and the staff at the Smart Museum of Art, Berit Ness and Jennifer Carty — thank you for your trust and mentorship. Dr. Darby English, thank you for showing me a radically different way of engaging with art. Lastly, insofar as this presentation is an argument for an ethics of looking and for the kind of encounter that makes and un-makes us, I owe it all to the dolls, who taught me how to see and to touch, and how to listen to that which fights meaning. -- Seth Nguyen

I would like to thank my supervisors Yahao Dai and Professor Sihong Wang, as well as the rest of the Wang Research Group in the PME department for all their assistance and support throughout my project. Research has truly enhanced my undergraduate experience at UChicago, and I really appreciate having this opportunity to explore academia. Writing proposals, giving presentations, and creating research posters is something I am only now starting to get involved with, and thus, having people to constantly turn to whenever I require assistance has been crucial. -- Shivani Chatterji

I would like to thank the Principal Investigator of the Early Social Thinkers Lab, Dr. Lin Bian, for her support and guidance and for her thoughtful feedback throughout the process. Many thanks also go out to my graduate student mentor Molly Tallberg for sharing her passions with me, for trusting me with her projects and data, and for her skillful and supportive mentorship over the past year and a half. Finally, I am extremely grateful to the College Center for Research and Fellowships Quad Scholars Program for funding this experience, to the Undergraduate Research Symposium team for allowing space for us all to share our work, and to my family and friends for being proud of me even when they’re not quite sure what for. I hope this event helped clear things up! -- Sophie Barth

Huge thank you to Dr. Aresha Martinez Cardoso for her support and mentorship with this project. -- Sophie Hare

The Tamagotchi Robots team from the UChicago HRI Lab would like to thank our PI, Dr. Sarah Sebo, for her continued support, mentorship, and guidance on the work and direction of our research contributions! -- Stephanie Kim, Spencer Ng, Clark Kovacs

Brandon Pierce and Lizeth Tamayo, thank you so much for your support and trust in me for this project! It has been such a privilege to help kickstart this project, and it’s really been able to take shape with your guidance and insights. Looking forward to seeing it through further and involving more folks in this work. -- Stephanie Zhang, Joel Ssepuuya

Thank you to my research mentors Lin Bian, Gabby Montiel, and Yuqing Liu. I greatly appreciate your time and effort in guiding me through the research process. I learned so much from watching you guys go through the steps and benefitted so much from your mentorship as I went about the process.  -- Tatiana Rachlin

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Chelsea Foxwell for providing this research opportunity and for her guidance and insights throughout the research project.  -- Torres Shi

I want to thank Dr. Susan Levine and Jacob Butts for their continued support of my academic and professional goals! -- Tyler Mandrell

Many thanks to the Amanchukwu group for the great atmosphere of mentorship in the lab. In particular I would like to thank my graduate mentor Priya Mirmira and my PI Chibueze Amanchukwu for the time and support they have provided for my project. -- Walker Gillett

Thanks to my research mentor, Dr. Anthony Lee Zhang, for his magnificent ideas and kind encouragement. -- Wanran Zhao

I am exceptionally grateful for the mentorship and support that I have received from my graduate student mentor Laura Hart. I am also very appreciative of the support of my PI, Stuart Rowan, and for believing in my scientific capability in his laboratory. -- Wilson Turner

We would like to express the sincerest gratitude to our mentor Dr. Heckscher. Thank you for welcoming us to your lab and spending your time generously with us to stimulate our interest and become better scientists. We enjoyed the time we spent with you developing this project.  We also would like to thank the lab members in Heckscher lab. Thank you all for providing critical suggestions, mentoring us in every detail, teaching us the experimental techniques and sharing your knowledge and expertise in all aspects with us. You make the lab environment to be an exciting and lively place for us. We would specifically express our thanks to Marie Greaney, Chris Wreden, Jake Henderson, Julia Meng, Zarion Marshall, and Seth Donoughe (Dr.Horne-Badovinac’s lab).  -- Yiqin Gao, Bianca Campagnari

I would like to thank my two research mentors, Brandon Pierce and Lizeth Tamayo, for all of the time and effort they sacrificed in order to help me learn and succeed.  My research would not have been possible without their feedback and assistance. -- Yohhan Kumarasinghe

I would love to thank Neil Brenner, Adom Getachew, and Damien Bright for all the guidance and feedback they've provided on my thesis. I couldn’t have done it without you!  -- Zebeeb Nuguse

I would like to thank Leigh Grant and Professor Boaz Keysar for their effort, strong support, and warm encouragement along the way! It was such an amazing experience for me to work with them and learn from them -- they really taught me how to be a responsible and independent researcher and helped me to build critical skills to be an aspiring psychologist. Thank you so much! -- Ziyu Ren

Thank you so much to my mentors for spending countless hours training me in lab work, advising on my project and on school generally, teaching me about the world of research and academia, editing my projects, and making research feel like a community. I cannot begin to describe how your work has changed and contributed to my life and can only hope I will be up to the challenge of using the invaluable knowledge and skills I have gained under your tutelage.  -- Anonymous

I’d like to express my warmest thanks to my junior paper advisor Eva Pensis and Fundamentals advisor Malynne Sternstein for valuing my nascent ideas and helping me make them coherent. This project could not have come together without their guidance, patience, and encouragement every step of the way. I’d also like to thank Mimi, Koi, Luna and Mitch for sharing their wisdom with me, and for making me feel a bit less alone. Finally, I’d like to thank my magical friends Anne and Liva for the many hours of late night philosophizing, my beloved Max for every cup of tea, and my brother Buddy for his weekly encouragement, “Did you finish it? Don’t worry, you’ll finish it.” -- Anonymous

Dr. Luka Pocivavsek is a one-of-a-kind physician-scientist and mentor who has helped me transition from a student who just does what he is told to an investigator who independently analyzes problems and comes up with solutions. He has guided my research and taught me the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. I will forever appreciate his guidance and support.  -- Anonymous