Two UC Santa Barbara doctoral students have been selected to receive the first annual Fiona Goodchild Award for Excellence as a Graduate Student Mentor of Undergraduate Research.
Claudia E. Moya, a Ph.D. candidate in pharmacology, and Kevin Wingerd, a Ph.D. candidate in molecular biology, were selected from among 12 nominees for their outstanding work with undergraduate student researchers.
Moya has mentored five undergraduates majoring in pharmacology through the California Alliance for Minority Participation Program.
She has helped them apply for grants, scholarships, attend professional meetings, and present their research in symposiums. Moya says that the time spent mentoring is "well worth the time taken away from my own research."
One of the students she has mentored, Maribel Reyes, has just been awarded a highly competitive Fulbright scholarship to conduct an independent research project in Chile for a year.
Wingerd, who is studying the role of the nervous system in heart disease, has mentored nine undergraduates.
Eight of the nine students have been awarded undergraduate research fellowships, two have gone on to Ph.D. programs, and three have gone on to medical school.
Wingerd says he became familiar with nearly every facet of his students' projects in order to provide them with "adequate assistance in both the background book work and in designing and administrating experiments."
The award is named for the former education director of UCSB's Materials Research Laboratory, Fiona Goodchild, who received a $10,000 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring earlier this year. With matching funds from the Office of the Chancellor, she used her prize money to establish the new graduate student mentor award.