Outstanding Thesis Awards

The Undergraduate Research Scholars Outstanding Thesis Awards recognize students who have shown excellence, originality, depth of knowledge, and professionalism through the completion of their Undergraduate Research Scholars theses.  

Award Categories

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
  • Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities
  • Creative Works

Nominations are accepted from faculty advisors and URS program staff for students actively participating in the program. A committee of LAUNCH faculty and staff selects one project (individual or team) in each category. The Undergraduate Research Scholars Outstanding Thesis Awards are presented to students at the LAUNCH Recognition Ceremony each year in May. 

Undergraduate Research Scholars Outstanding Thesis Awardees


Andrew Powell '22

Thesis: Cognitive Changes and Circadian Timekeeping Disturbances in Aging Across Sexes (Pending Publication)

Advisor: Dr. Karienn Montgomery

Social Sciences / Arts / Humanities

Victoria Cooper '22

Thesis: How The Chapter 313 Tax Incentive Has Impacted Solar Energy Expansion and School Districts in Texas (Pending Publication)

Advisors: Dr. Christian Brannstrom

Creative Works

Emily Curtis '22

Thesis: The Blood Threshold: Hereditary Magic, Eugenics, and Genetic Discrimination in the Fantasy Genre (Pending Publication)

Advisor: Dr. Lowell Mick White


Leah K. Bogan '21

Thesis: Analysis of Fin Whale Lunge-Feeding in Southern California Using Multisensory Biotags

Advisor: Dr. Ana Širović

Social Sciences / Arts / Humanities

Charlotte Nicole Deere '21

Thesis: Every Coin: An Analysis of Julio-Claudian Women on Imperial Roman Coinage

Advisors: Dr. Christoph Konrad and Dr. Deborah Carlson

Creative Works

Alanna Burnett ’22, Nallely Chavarria ‘22, Virgilio Duarte ‘22, and Madison Lesmeister ‘21

Thesis: Survey and Design of Alternate Care Sites for Disaster and Pandemic Relief

Advisor: Dr. George J. Mann


Fatima Al-Janahi ’20, Electrical Engineering, and Rahul Balamurugan ’20, Electrical Engineering

Thesis: Characterizing Photovoltaic System Arc-Faults

Advisor: Dr. Robert Balog

Social Sciences / Arts / Humanities

Sarah Stokes ’20, International Studies, International Politics and Diplomacy Track

Thesis: Political Efficacy and the Russian Language: The Role of Language in Politics (Pending Publication)

Advisor: Dr. Olga Cooke

Creative Works

Kyrie Garlic

Thesis: The Infinitely Unknowable—A Contemporary Crossover Novel Examining Loss and Growth Along the Axes of Immanence and Transcendence (Pending Publication)

Advisor: Dr. Lowell Mick White


Natalie Coleman

Thesis: Equitable Resilience in Infrastructure Systems: Empirical Assessment of Disparities of Vulnerable Populations During Service Disruptions (Pending Publication)

Advisor: Dr. Ali Mostafavi

Social Sciences / Arts / Humanities

Ryan Ansley Malia Randle

Thesis: Songs of the Dying Swan: Dido, Aenas, and the Divine in 14th through 16th Century Literary Adaptions (Pending Publication)

Advisor: Dr. Britt Mize

Creative Works

Jasmine Derry, Lauren Hammond, Marissa Harris, Yuan-Chi Lee, and Kiara Stewart

Thesis: Re-creating the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Advisor: Dr. Jerry Tessendorf


Tyler Wiener

Thesis: Predicting Driver Distraction: An Analysis of Machine Learning Algorithms and Input Measures

Advisor: Dr. Tony McDonald

Social Sciences / Arts / Humanities

Sarah Claye Epperson

Thesis: Litigating Women: The Path to Intermediate Scrutiny in American Law

Advisor: Dr. Katherine Unterman and Dr. Randy Gordon

Creative Works

Courtney Kiolbassa

Thesis: Pilgramage Sites in the American Southwest: A Narrative Exploration of Sacred Destinations

Advisor: Dr. Susan M. Stabile