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Students receive 27 Carson, Auvil undergraduate research awards

PULLMAN, Wash. – Twenty-seven Washington State University students at Pullman and Vancouver have received two types of awards from the Office of Undergraduate Research, part of WSU Undergraduate Education.

Recipients of Carson and Auvil awards will work with faculty mentors throughout the 2017-18 academic year on research, scholarly and creative projects that advance or create new knowledge in a specific field.

“Awards are typically $1,000 and help to ease financial stress, so students can focus more on their research,” said Shelley Pressley, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “We are fortunate to have generous alumni and friends whose gifts make these awards possible.”

“Supporting undergraduates in their research also adds immeasurably to their educational experience at our top research university,” said Pressley.

Awardees will present their results at the seventh annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on April 2, 2018.

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

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 become Auvil Fellows.

Carson Fellows for 2017-18

  • Leandro Lessin, a wildlife ecology and conservation major mentored by Daniel Thornton
  • Keesha Matz, a microbiology major mentored by Alan Goodman

Auvil Fellows for 2017-18

  • Spencer Barclay, a mechanical engineering major mentored by Kshitij Jerath
  • Austin Blake, a mechanical engineering major mentored by Arda Gozen
  • Robby Boney, a computer science major mentored by Allison Coffin
  • Grace Chung, a neuroscience major mentored by Carlos Suarez
  • Bryce Delgado, a chemical engineering major mentored by Nehal Abu-Lail
  • Kacie Dominici, a history major mentored by Steven Fountain
  • Bailey Frankovich, a neuroscience major mentored by Joseph Harding
  • Kristian Gubsch, a chemical engineering major mentored by Candis Claiborn
  • Samantha Kaonis, a bioengineering major mentored by Roland Chen
  • Thinh Kieu, a biochemistry major mentored by Bertrand Tanner
  • Teva Mayer, a zoology major mentored by Raymond Lee
  • Ryan McLaughlin, a biochemistry and biophysics, pre-pharmacy major mentored by Anthony Nicola
  • Angeliqua Montoya, a biology major mentored by Stephanie Porter
  • Eric Navarro, a zoology major mentored by Erica Crespi
  • Deshka Neill, a chemistry and materials science engineering major mentored by Ming Xian
  • Abagail Poelstra, an environmental and ecosystem science major mentored by Lydia Gerber
  • Alyssa Sperry, an anthropology major mentored by Candice Goucher
  • Kyle Stenersen, a mechanical engineering major mentored by Hua Tan
  • Shi Tan, a neuroscience major mentored by Rita Fuchs Lokensgard
  • Janelle Thomas, an animal sciences major mentored by Ryan J. McLaughlin
  • Kyle Tucker, a biology major mentored by Hanjo Hellmann
  • Karen Vo, a biochemistry major mentored by Jeffrey Jones
  • Collin Warrick, a neuroscience major mentored by Ryan J. McLaughlin
  • Adam Whittier, a digital technology and culture major mentored by Robert Franklin
  • Ashley Wright, an apparel merchandising and textiles major mentored by Hang Liu

For more information on these and other awards visit,



  • Shelley Pressley, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-0014, spressley@wsu
  • Emma Epperly, Communications and Marketing Associate, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-9458,

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