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2017 SURE Science Scholars

The College of Science congratulates its 2017 SURE Science scholars who have received $5,500 each, for a total of $170,500! The SURE Science program offers students summer research opportunities across campus that can foster meaningful, scholarly connections early in their academic careers and help define their professional career path.

SURE Science is a program supported through the Undergraduate Research Frontiers Fund with generous philanthropic contributions from friends and alumni of the College. This year, thanks to the generous support of alumni and friends, the College was able to fund 31 undergraduate students, with an overall funding rate of 54%. The students, about 65 percent of whom are minority and first-generation college students, will receive $5,500 to conduct full-time summer research. 

The College was able to support a broader range of majors this year with students from biochemistry and biophysics, biology, mathematics, microbiology and physics.

SURE Science supports students seeking a research experience to complement their academic experience. They spend their summer actively engaged in research while working alongside faculty for an engaging, hands-on learning experience. They conduct research that may solve societal problems and even contribute to the creation of new scientific knowledge.

New this year, students will participate in an information session to learn how to identify interesting research opportunities on campus and how to connect with faculty on a professional level. SURE Scholars will also attend three professional development workshops on:

  • Team dynamics
  • Scientific writing and presentations
  • Informal scientific communication

Students benefit tremendously by applying what they learned in the classroom to actual problems. By actively engaging in research, students gain valuable experience to help them prepare for graduate or professional school as well as to enhance their qualifications and build their resumes. They also gain valuable career skills through teamwork, collaboration, and public speaking, which they practice when they present their work in a professional setting at the College of Science Fall Awards.

This summer, SURE Science scholars will work alongside faculty in areas such as:

  • Analytical chemistry research to measure persistent organic pollutants in whale scat
  • Biochemistry protein quality control mechanisms and its role in aging
  • Computational astrophysics project modeling hydrodynamic protostellar star-disk systems using linear and non-linear methods
  • Synthesis of key compounds to explore the scope of a new organocatalyst in pharmaceutical drug preparation

Students are being hosted in labs across campus, including the Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Botany and Plant Pathology, Chemistry, Food Science, Integrated Biology, Kinesiology, Microbiology, Pharmacy, Physics and in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

2017 SURE Science Scholars

Student Major Faculty mentor
Nicholas Brown Biochemistry & Biophysics Andrey Morgan
Richelle Castro Biochemistry & Biophysics Virginia Stockwell
Mark Geisler Biochemistry & Biophysics Michael Freitag
Blake Hakkila Biochemistry and Biophysics Colin Johnson
Youngmin Park Biochemistry and Biophysics Weihong Qui
Miles Rouches Biochemistry & Biophysics Adrian Gombart
Delaney Smith Biochemistry & Biophysics Jeff Chang
Mason Rouches Biochemistry & Biophysics David Hendrix
Sam Hester Biochemistry and Biophysics Ryan Mehl
Ido Almog Biohealth Sciences Viviana Perez
Lindsay Hirsch Biohealth Sciences Mark Leid
Jessica Hodgen Biohealth Sciences Jaga Giebultowicz
Alamjit Nagra BioHealth Sciences Theresa Fitz
Christopher Lee BioHealth Sciences Olena Taratula
Sonora Meiling Zoology Rebecca Vega Thurber
Kris Baur Biology Felipe Barreto
Tyler Coleman Biology Virginia Weis
Anden Morehead Biology Robert Mason
Bergen Sather Biology Sean Newsom
Theresa Dinh Biology Bo Sun
Amy Albrecht Chemistry Staci Simonich
Kathryn Chen Chemistry Sandra Loesgen
Blake Day Chemistry Mas Subramanian
Susmita Matlapudi Chemistry Sean Burrows
Alina Vesquez Chemistry/Math Rich Carter
Jasmin Yang Chemistry Michael Penner
Whitney Weber Microbiology Claudia Hase
Michelle Zhou Microbiology Diedre Johns
Cassandra Hatcher Physics Michael Penner
Garrett Jepson Physics Guenter Schneider
Dublin Nichols Physics Ethan Minot
Emily Thomas

Attila Varga



Sean Burrows

Kathryn Hadley

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