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June 14, 2016

18 Undergraduates Receive Support to Conduct Research This Summer

iUTAH is working hard to address Utah’s need to help students grow their interest in STEM research fields. Through its iFellows program, undergraduate students are involved in cutting-edge research and scholarly work on water-related issues. This program, now in its fourth year, takes place over an 11-week period each summer, beginning in May. Since 2013, the program has funded 63 iFellows undergraduate researchers, bringing students from around the state to Utah’s premier research institutions: the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University.


One of the best parts of the iFellows program is that it stimulates interest among talented undergraduates in research science careers by introducing them to the work researchers are doing. Students are involved in a wide range of research topics, ranging from aquatic biology to urban planning to environmental engineering. A key component of the program is identifying and matching student interests to research projects and mentors. Once they are assigned to a faculty member, graduate and peer mentor, students become involved in current iUTAH research projects.


This year’s 18 iFellows represent iUTAH’s continuing commitment to STEM education and diversity with 71% female and 18% under-represented minority students participating. The 2016 iFellow undergraduate researchers are listed as follows, including hometown, current institution, and iUTAH faculty mentor:


  • Joydino Beyale - Red Mesa, UT, USU Eastern – Blanding, with Ryan Dupont, USU
  • Heather Bottelberghe - Grantsville, UT, Salt Lake Community College, with Sarah Null, USU
  • Katelyn Boyer – Springville, UT, Utah State University, with Sam St. Clair, BYU
  • Todd Brown – Hooper, UT, Utah State University, with David Rosenberg, USU
  • Darcie Christensen – Tremonton, UT, Utah State University, with Christine Pomeroy, UU 
  • Georgie Corkery – Salt Lake City, UT, University of Utah, with Steve Burian, UU
  • Cynthia Elliott – Valencia, CA, Weber State University, with Mark Brunson, USU
  • Andrew Hackett – Layton, UT, Weber State University, with Sarah Null, USU
  • Greta Hamilton – Salt Lake City, UT, Salt Lake Community College, with Greg Carling, BYU
  • Stacy Henderson – Salt Lake City, UT, Westminster College, with Joanna Endter-Wada, USU
  • Rebecca Lee – San Diego, CA, Brigham Young University, with Zach Aanderud, BYU
  • Gabriela Martinez – Salt Lake City, UT, Salt Lake Community College, with Sarah Hinners, UU
  • Mitchell Steele – Orem, UT, Utah State University, with Ryan Dupont, USU
  • Shanae Tate – Salt Lake City, UT, Brigham Young University, with Scott Jones, USU
  • Luis Vidal – Logan, UT, University of Utah, with Mark Brunson, USU
  • Lily Wetterlin – Midway, UT, University of Utah, with Diane Pataki, UU
  • Adam Whalen – Draper, UT, University of Utah, with Sara Yeo, UU
  • Sandra Udy (Young) – Vernal, UT, Utah State University, with Michelle Baker, USU


“This summer’s iFellows Program is off to a great start,” says Ellen Eiriksson, iUTAH Education, Outreach and Diversity Coordinator. “Students have arrived eager to contribute to iUTAH's multi-disciplinary research and to gain valuable experience working with the project's many inspirational faculty and near-peer mentors.” These students come from disciplines ranging from general studies and communications to environmental science and engineering. All are bringing new ideas and insights together to help address Utah’s future water concerns.


iFellow Rebecca Lee collecting soil samples in the Rush Valley, Utah, while working in Zach Aanderud’s lab at BYU. Credit Rebecca Lee.


Sandra Young of Vernal, UT, working on iUTAH research in Michelle Baker’s lab, is preparing sampling equipment before deployment in the upper Provo River to collect dissolved oxygen and light levels at the surface and river floor. Credit Sandra Young.





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