Undergraduate Research Program

2022 Outstanding Research Mentor Award

Each year, Undergraduate Research Symposium presenters are given an opportunity to nominate their mentor for the Outstanding Research Mentor Award. Nominations are considered by a small review committee of faculty and staff. Faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and research staff are all eligible for nomination.

Below are quotes from the students who nominated these outstanding researchers and educators.

Congratulations to our 2022 awardees!

David Dichek, Professor


Dr. Dichek is an outstanding mentor because of his commitment to developing his students into well-rounded scientists...Whenever I begin a new project, I am confident that I will be given a balance of independence and guidance that will ultimately maximize my learning. I also appreciate that Dr. Dichek is eager to obtain students’ input at lab meetings and encourages us to question ideas we don’t understand. I am inspired by his commitment to rigorous research and feel that he is a key factor in my choice to pursue a scientific career path.”
— Kaushik Komandur // Senior // Public Health-Global Health, Microbiology

Kai-Mei Fu, Associate Professor

Physics and Electrical Engineering

“Before joining Professor Fu’s lab, I felt unconfident as an undergraduate student in making meaningful contributions to any frontier research. However, Professor Fu proved me wrong with a well-planned research project that fits my background, in which my own work can make a major difference. With all the impossibility that has been made possible by Professor Fu, I was able to experience the excitement of growing boundless.
— Asher Han // Senior // Mathematics, Physics: Comprehensive Physics


Deanna Kennedy, Associate Professor

Business, UW Bothell

“Before I began my research under Dr. Kennedy, I had heard of the vague topic of “research”, but didn’t know what research entails. Unlike many other research experiences which take place in a lab, where a student may only do one or two aspects of a research project, Dr. Kennedy directed me through the entire research lifecycle–from question generation to presentation at this Symposium…She helped me overcome the initial culture shock of time management, data analysis and literature review–all things that were foreign to me.
— Spencer Onstot // Senior // Community Psychology (Bothell), Society, Ethics, & Human Behavior (Bothell)

Natalie Nicole Sanchez, Graduate Student


“She has been an incredible role model and one of the first major supporters within my academic journey…Nicole proof-read my application materials, had extra meetings with me to talk about my personal essays, and overall supported me in feeling competent and worthy enough to apply myself to other opportunities. I fully believe my work with Nicole has been transformative and I’m incredibly lucky and grateful to have such an amazing mentor in my corner who wants to see me succeed in life.”
— Morgan Catherine Miller // Senior // Physics: Comprehensive Physics, Astronomy

Chris Law, Postdoctoral Researcher


“Chris shows passion for his research and our team every single day. He never fails to prioritize our learning and goes above and beyond for us undergrads in the lab. Last summer he found ways to get us all funding. He is always communicative, supportive and kind…he always personally makes sure I can have access to resources to participate in all lab activities.”
— Annika McFeely // Junior // Environmental Science & Resource Management