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Congratulations to the winners of the Spring 2016 URCA Assistant Program Awards!!

Vaughn Vandegrift URCA Assistant Research Mentor of the Semester Award

joel nadler

Dr. Joel Nadler, Psychology  

Nominated by: Maya Gann-Bociek

"Dr. Joel Nadler is an exceptional URCA mentor who does everything he can to see his students succeed. He loves challenging his students and having them set goals for their future, all while giving a helping hand and mentoring them so they reach every academic goal that they set their minds to. Dr. Nadler is an outstanding URCA mentor with a successful lab and exceptional leadership abilities ... Because of him, I am more excited about my future than ever." 

URCA Assistant Creative Activities Mentor of the Semester Award

Kathryn Bentley

Ms. Kathryn Bentley, Theater & Dance

Nominated by: Kenneth Coleman

"Ms. Bentley continues to teach theater, direct multiple productions a semester, perform in productions, write and devise productions, all the while mentoring and molding me into a greater artist in my craft. Our research these last couple of semesters has opened my eyes to so many things I could never comprehend before. I am very grateful to Ms. Bentley for allowing me to be her URCA assistant. She has always opened the door to many opportunities for students both black and white." 

URCA Research Assistant of the Semester Award

Jennifer Garland

Jennifer Garland, Psychology 

Nominated by: Dr. Elizabeth McKenney

"Jen has taken advantage of every opportunity to further her knowledge and research skills that I and the URCA program have presented to her over the past two years. In that way, she is a model for the possibility of the URCA program to enrich undergraduate learning, in that she demonstrates just how much undergraduates can do as part of a research team, when given the opportunity."

URCA Creative Activities Assistant of the Semester Award 

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Michael Hawkins, Music

Nominated by: Dr. Marc Schapman 

"Michael is enthusiastic, energetic, and his positive attitude and work ethic is infectious. He arrives to rehearse early, assists in managing rehearsals, and proactively asks for his next task before our meeting. I am thrilled to have Michael in our program and look forward to his future contributions to SIUE Opera and Musical Theatre."

Other nominees:


Dr. Ayse Evrensel, Economics & Finance
Nominated by:
Tiffany Minx

Dr. Brianne Guilford, Kinesiology & Health Education
Nominated by:
Jane Maciejewski

Dr. Bryan Smith, Kinesiology & Health Education
Nominated by:
Cassandra Phillips

Dr. Edward Ackad, Physics
Nominated by:
Thomas Teague

Dr. Gillian Acheson, Geography
Nominated by:
Susannah Oettle

Dr. Huaibo Xin, Kinesiology & Health Education
Nominated by:
Tabitha Fricano

Dr. Kathryn Brady, Special Education & Communication Disorders
Nominated by:
Serena Jones

Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt, English Language & Literature 
Nominated by:
Allison Rue


Hollie Cocke
Nominated by:
Dr. Joel Nadler, Psychology

Jane Maciejewski
Nominated by:
Dr. Brianne Guilford, Kinesiology & Health Education

Jessica Burash
Nominated by:
Dr. Jeremy Jewell, Psychology

Kaitlyn Funneman
Nominated by:
Dr. Sophia Wilson, Political Science

Megan Punches
Nominated by:
Dr. Michelle Cathorall, Applied Health

Fall 2015 Award Winners
Spring 2015 Award Winners
Fall 2014 Award Winners
Spring 2014 Award Winners
Fall 2013 Award Winners
Spring 2013 Award Winners
Fall 2012 URCA Award Winners
Spring 2012 URCA Award Winners
Fall 2011 URCA Award Winners

For more information about the URCA program,
contact Dr. Laura Pawlow at 618-650-2608 or
The calls for nominations for these awards go out mid-fall and mid-spring.

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