Outstanding Undergrad Research Awards 2024

April, 2024
Above: Student recipients at the 2024 OUR Awards Ceremony

The University of Utah is one of the top research academic institutions in the Intermountain West, and it’s thanks in major part to the U’s undergraduate student researchers and the faculty who advise and mentor them.

Some of the university’s up-and-coming researchers and mentors were honored at the 2024 Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Awards, held virtually on April 1.

Every year, OUR recognizes one undergraduate student researcher from each college/school with the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, according to the office’s website. Partnering colleges and schools are responsible for selecting the awardee.

This year, 18 undergraduate researchers were honored with the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, two of them from the College of Science / College of Mines & Earth Sciences:

Autumn Hartley (Mentor: Professor Sarah Lambart)

Dua Azhar (Mentor: Professor Sophie Caron)

Autumn Hartley

Autumn Hartley (she/they) is also a College of Science ambassador and has a passion for science and learning as geology and geophysics major. Originally from Midway, Utah, she moved to Salt Lake City when she started school at the U where she became involved in many different organizations including oSTEM, which connects LGBTQ+ students in STEM. Outside of academia, she loves all things artistic. “I’m a writer, graphic designer, and a character designer when I’m not in the lab!” she says.

Dua Azhar

Born and raised a Utahn in Draper, Dua Azhar (she/her) is an honors physics student with a biomedical emphasis. During her undergraduate years here at the U, she says, “I intend to tie my education and research together towards an MD/PhD, in order to specialize in neurology.” Along with the sciences, she love the arts, especially film and photography. “So if you don’t see me in the lab, you’ll most likely see me making something with a camera!”

Opening remarks at the event were made by Associate Dean Annie Fukushima, followed by Provost Mitzi Montoya and VP Research Erin Rothwell. They were followed by the presentation of Undergraduate Research Scholarship recipients which included the 2023 – 2024 recipients of the Francis Family Fund Scholarships, Dee Scholarship, and Parent Fund Scholarship.

The Monson Essay Prize winner, Pablo Cruz-Ayala, was then acknowledged followed by the 18 OUR & Research Mentor Awards by college.

At the ceremony event, award recipients were able to thank their mentors, family and others for their support.

More information and criteria for both awards can be found on the OUR’s website Watch video of OUR awards 2024 program below: