Undergraduate Research Program

Research mentor awardees

Each year, Undergraduate Research Symposium presenters are given an opportunity to nominate their mentor for the 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 2021 Research Mentor Award recipients!

Santino Camacho, Ph.D. Student

School of Social Work

Photo of Santino Giovanni Camacho“Joining Ola Pasifika Lab and gaining Tino Camacho as a mentor has been one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had as an undergraduate… Tino has literally gone out of his way to make sure that I feel prepared and comfortable as a research assistant and also challenged me to begin my own independent research, something I was scared to do…Tino has also shown me the impact of research, helped me understand community-based research, and pushed me to think outside of an academic perspective. Because of Tino and his support, I feel confident around research and have started to encourage my own mentees and peers to join research and explore things outside of their comfort zone.”
— Karina Flores // Senior // Sociology

Rachel Cichowski, Professor

Political Science

Photo of Rachel CichowskiProfessor Cichowski is an exemplar of the University of Washington’s commitment to being ‘boundless,’ and she inspires this same excellence in her students. Rachel has led by example in her courses, inspiring her students to pursue a wide variety of topics related to international courts, offering enough support for students to grow academically, but also giving students enough latitude to organically foster their interests.”
— Dakota Huffman // Senior // Political Science


Sarah Ketchley, Affiliate Instructor

Near Eastern Languages & Civilization

Photo of Sarah Ketchley“Dr. Sarah Ketchley is a passionate individual with such breadth of knowledge in Digital Humanities and Egyptology. She nurtures the cultivation of interests in these subjects, even if the student is unfamiliar or just getting started. … As a first-year student at UW battling the challenges of staying connected with the campus, she made me feel incredibly welcome in the UW undergraduate research community.”
— Marianne Bautista // Freshman // Pre-Arts

Afra Mashhadi, Assistant Professor

Computing Software & Systems, UW Bothell

Photo of Afra Mashhadi“Throughout my time involved in research under the mentorship of Dr. Mashhadi, she has struck an excellent balance between enabling me to work independently and providing guidance and direction. If I had to pick the single most valuable experience of my time at UW Bothell, it would be my involvement in research. Dr. Mashhadi’s guidance, encouragement and support has opened my eyes to the excitement of research.”
— Joshua Stuart Sterner // Senior // Computer Science & Software Engineering

Ayokunle Olanrewaju, Acting Assistant Professor

Mechanical Engineering

Photo of Ayokunle Olanrewaju“Ayo fosters a welcoming, inclusive, and safe learning environment in which I am encouraged to learn and grow, supported when I make mistakes, and recognized for my accomplishments. He strikes a fantastic balance between giving me the independence to plan and execute my own experiments and offering me help, advice, and guidance when I feel I need it…I think what makes Ayo outstanding is that his mentorship reaches past research space — he genuinely cares about those around him, not only as scientists, but also as people. … Ayo is the type of scientist, engineer, and leader I aspire to be, and I am so incredibly grateful to have him as my mentor.
— Katherine Ye Zhang // Senior // Bioengineering

Daniel Promislow, Professor

Laboratory Medicine & Pathology

Photo of Daniel Promislow“Dr. Daniel Promislow has been the catalyst for my entry into the research field…I reached out to the Promislow lab with nothing but a yearning to be involved in research … I was extremely nervous, having never talked to a researcher and having limited knowledge of academia … Dr. Promislow ensured me that I had no reason to be nervous and told me the goal of research is ultimately to ‘help me help the world.’ Because of Dr. Promislow, I now have a career trajectory that I am in love with.”
— Lakshin Kumar // Sophomore // Biochemistry

Ashleigh Theberge, Assistant Professor


Photo of Ashleigh Theberge“Ashleigh is an amazing PI who has helped me in many areas inside and outside of research. She has challenged me to apply for difficult grants, plan my own experiments, and has encouraged my independence within my research. She has connected me with many people within the community for collaborations, has taught me scientific reading and writing, and … continually shows me new parts of running my own experiments and projects. She is a great leader to the whole group and allows all members to feel heard about lab endeavors … Ashleigh has made my time and research experience at UW truly amazing.”
— Hannah Lea // Senior // Biochemistry