RIT’s first class undergraduate research fellows will be recognized upon graduation in 2021


Forty members of the inaugural class of undergraduate research fellows will be honored at this year’s graduation ceremonies. The recognition highlights their accomplishments in a variety of complex and demanding research areas during their time at RIT. It also shows RIT’s commitment to meeting the growing demand from undergraduates for research experiences to complement coursework.

“We have an extremely high density of undergraduate students who are engaged in independent and scholarly research,” said Ryne Raffaelle, vice president of research and associate vice president of RIT. “Hands-on training through research continues to be a hallmark of RIT undergraduate education. What we are happy to see this year is the breadth of fields represented and the depth of the work of this first class and to anticipate even more in the years to come.

Students receiving this recognition must have participated in research under the direction of a faculty director for at least two semesters, have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher, and have demonstrated public dissemination of their work, such as co-writing articles for peer-reviewed journals. Letters of recommendation from a research mentor, a description of the research performed, and an essay on the benefits to the undergraduate student experience are also required.

Traditionally, undergraduate level research has been the mainstay of graduate students. At RIT, it is not uncommon for undergraduates to work alongside these more experienced peers and their mentors exploring areas such as biofilm formation or non-invasive glucose monitoring, innovations in museums or scientific pedagogy.

This year’s recognition recipients represent most of RIT’s colleges, including students from the university’s international campuses in Croatia and Dubai. They will be dressed in RIT’s latest distinctive outfit at graduation ceremonies: a bright orange sash with Greek letters that are often used as scientific symbols for spell research.

The idea arose when Raffaelle was approached by Lauren Trumpore, a fourth-year biotechnology and molecular bioscience student, asking her to consider recognizing the work of undergraduates. She was a member of the Molecular Biology Education Research Group, a laboratory associated with the Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning and Evaluation (CASTLE) at the College of Science.

“I did educational research, the study of education. I have worked with local high school biology teachers, interviewing them and their students to see how they learn and understand biology, ”she explained.

She compared the recognition of undergraduate research to achievements in athletics, Greek societies and the RIT’s specialist program.

“The research gave me experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Trumpore said. “I did it so that other people could get recognition. They already know what they did, but they can ask others to watch them at graduation and know that they did something that impacted RIT.

After graduation in May, Trumpore will return to her hometown of Warren, NJ to work as a lab technician before entering college.

The inaugural class of RIT Undergraduate Research Fellows is:

College of Engineering Technology

  • Matthieu hofmeister
  • Isabelle Stoeckley

College of Health Sciences and Technologies

  • Maria Morcos
  • Ashley Mussallem
  • Diksha Thakkar
  • Ashley tucker

College of Liberal Arts

  • Stephen dahlstrom
  • Koda drake

College of Sciences

  • Kristen atkinson
  • Mackenzie carr
  • Jared gregor
  • Leander detained
  • Niaya jackson
  • Quinn Kolt
  • Jason LaRuez
  • Alyssa Schoenfeldt
  • Lauren trumpore
  • Benjamin vaughn
  • Emée Wrightstone
  • Jordan raisman

Kate Gleason College of Engineering

  • Benedict Adair
  • Greg bond
  • Connor devitt
  • Andrew DeVries
  • Matthias hausman
  • Jiacheng He
  • Andy keats
  • Duke The
  • Han Le
  • Hayley miller
  • Sofia quinones
  • Mickaela Samuel

Golisano College of Computer Science and Information Science

Saunders College of Business

RIT Croatia

RIT Dubai

  • Manan argawal
  • Jean Joy
  • Safika Kabir
  • Huzaifa Khambaty

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