Additional Media Contact: Shelley Pressley, Director of the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research, 509-335-0014,

Pullman, Wash.—The Office of Undergraduate Research at Washington State University has named 14 students as recipients of awards in support of their mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities for the 2019-20 academic year.

Twelve students received Auvil Scholars Fellowship awards, and two Scott and Linda Carson Undergraduate Research awards. One awardee is a student at WSU Spokane; the others are at Pullman. Their majors cover STEM and non-STEM fields.

“It’s a great pleasure to offer so many deserving students these funds to support their research efforts,” said Shelley Pressley, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. It is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, part of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

Applying for and receiving Auvil and Carson awards helps to lesson students’ financial burdens, and allows them to better focus on their studies and research pursuits.

“Additionally, the work they do with their mentors helps to advance and create new knowledge in a specific field, which is fundamental to the research process. These students’ contributions to the research projects of their mentors is real and significant. Undergraduates contribute in meaningful ways to WSU’s standing as a top research university.”

Carson Fellows for 2019-20

The Scott and Linda Carson Undergraduate Research Endowed Excellence Fund, established in 2013, supports researchers as they progress in their careers. The Carson’s, WSU alumni, have supported the university with their service and numerous financial gifts for many years. The Carson award gives preference to student researchers who are in their junior and senior years.

This year’s Carson award recipients both received Auvil awards previously. Each awardee’s name, year in college, major, and mentor is as follows:

  • Krista Brutman, a junior math major mentored by Bertrand Tanner
  • Patrick Robichaud, a junior civil engineering major mentored by Jenny Adam

Auvil Fellows for 2019-20

The Auvil Scholars Fellowship began in 2006 with a gift from the estates of Grady and Lillie Auvil, Wenatchee tree-fruit entrepreneurs. Auvil awards are available to undergraduate researchers from all majors, in all grades, from any WSU campus. More than 200 WSU undergraduates have received this award and are known as Auvil Fellows.

The new Auvil Fellows are:

  • Blessing Adaramola, a senior management major mentored by Olusola Adesope
  • Theresa (Tessa) Czech, a junior earth sciences major mentored by Catherine Cooper
  • Daniel Curtis, a sophomore philosophy major mentored by Samantha Noll
  • Asiamay Diaz, a junior Spanish and zoology major mentored by Wes Dowd
  • Alexa Fay, a senior nursing major at WSU Spokane mentored by Janet Katz
  • Hannah Goodspeed, a junior civil engineering major mentored by Eric Russell
  • Courtney Klappenbach, a senior genetics and cell biology major mentored by Michael Konkel
  • Jessie Schweitzer, a junior materials science and engineering major mentored by Dave Field
  • Caroline Sirr, a junior animal sciences major mentored by James Pru
  • Gunnar Sly, a sophomore chemical engineering major mentored by Min-Kyu Song
  • Sean Thompson, a junior genetics and cell biology major mentored by Ryan Driskell
  • Maia Whitley, a sophomore computer science major mentored by Sergey Lapin

All award recipients are required to present results of their work on posters at the ninth annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on Mon., March 30, 2020. SURCA features eight research categories, and awards go to top presenters in each. Visit the SURCA website for more details.