Skip to main content

Undergraduates Receive Oswald Awards for Research and Creativity

by Jenny Wells & Danica Kubly

The University of Kentucky Office for Undergraduate Research recognized and awarded 19 students this week with the Oswald Research and Creativity Program awards.  Diane Snow, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, and Ben Withers, interim associate provost for Undergraduate Education, were on hand to congratulate the winners and distribute the awards. 

Established in 1964 by then-UK President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Program encourages research and creative activities by undergraduate students at UK. The objectives of the program are to stimulate creative work by undergraduate students, and to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement.

This recognition emphasizes the importance the university places upon academic excellence.  Although these objectives have remained the same throughout the years, the number of categories has increased to include Biological Sciences; Design, including architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design; Fine Arts, including film, music, photography, painting, and sculpture; Humanities, from creative and critical-research approaches; Physical and Engineering Sciences; and Social Sciences.  All submissions are sent anonymously to faculty reviewers in related fields and are judged based on a rubric.

Awards in each category are: First Place: $350; Second Place: $200; and Honorable Mention, if applicable. Entries are judged on originality, clarity of expression, scholarly or artistic contribution, and the validity, scope, and depth of the project or investigation.

This year's award winners are:

Biological Sciences

First Place: Alexandra Tsoras, chemical engineering junior, "Development of Three-Dimensional Lung Multicellular Spheroids in Air and Liquid Interface Culture for the Evaluation of Anti-Cancer Therapeutics"
Second Place: Aman Shah, biology senior, "RNA Degradation is Elevated with Age-, but not Disuse-Associated Skeletal Muscle Atrophy"

Honorable Mention: Christopher Karounos, biology junior, "A Tragedy Exposed? Clear Growth Medium Reveals Roots Competing"



First Place: Jared Kaelin & Justin Menke, landscape architecture seniors, "Falmouth"

Second Place: Thomas Wortman, landscape architecture senior, Land Feature Design Firm


Fine Arts

First Place: Ashley Thacker, art studio senior, "It Can’t Rain All the Time"

Second Place: Zak Norton, topical studies: film, television, & digital media and kinesiology: exercise science junior, "Rhuem"

Honorable Mention: Ben Norton, topical studies: film, television, & digital media and Spanish junior, "PSY’s Gangnam Style Parody"


Humanities: Creative

First Place: Heather Sims, art studio and English senior, "Elephant Memories: A Set of Poems"

Second Place: Valerie Pfister, English and international studies junior, "Breaking Routine (A Short Fiction)"

Honorable Mention: Lindsay Oberhausen, English and Spanish senior, "The Evolution of a Love Long Gone"


Humanities: Critical Research

First Place: Lindsay Oberhausen, English and Spanish Senior, "Maternal Masochism: Self-Degradation of the Mother in Morrison’s 'Beloved'"

Second Place: Kelly King, English and philosophy senior, "Exchange in Aristotle’s 'Polis' and Adam Smith’s 'Market'"


Physical and Engineering Sciences

First Place: Lindsay Gray, chemical engineering junior, "An Improved in vitro Model for the Study of Endothelial Cells Using Micropatterned Surfaces"

Second Place: David Spencer, chemical engineering senior, "Multiple Macromer Hydrogels for Multiphase Drug Release"

Honorable Mention: Josiah Hanna, computer science junior, "Summer 2012 LIP6 Write-up"


Social Sciences

First Place: Elina Matveeva, psychology junior, Two is Company, "Three is an Envious Crowd: Effects of a Third Party Evaluator on Expressions of Envy According to Lacanian"

Second Place: Carter Daniels, psychology and philosophy senior, "Do Pigeons Develop Mental Representations when Demonstrating Transitive Inference?"

Honorable Mention: Sarah Stromberg, psychology and mathematics senior, "Diaphragmatic Breathing and its Effectiveness in the Management of Motion Sickness"