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Philip Kaaret

Dr. Kaaret receives his award at the OVPR's 2019 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Kaaret is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy.  He was nominated by his mentees Hannah Gulick (a 2019 Goldwater Scholar) and Sam Ponnada (a 2019 EURA recipient)Dr. Kaaret is well-known by his students for balancing a “hands-off” approach to mentorship with an ability to directly discern and develop a mentee’s potential.  His mentoring of undergraduate researchers blends teaching hard lab techniques with a good dose of lab humor.  His guidance encourages them to truly think about research questions independently, allowing them to transition successfully from students to early-career researchers.

Linda McCarter

Linda McCarter receives her award at the OVPR Celebration of Excellence Dinner

Dr. McCarter is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.  She was nominated by her students April Burgess and Evan Lamb (a 2018 EURA recipient).  Two words came through in these nomination letters: compassion and inspiration.  She is known to her students as a strong advocate for them and one who actively listens to their concerns, no matter if it’s a lab or a life problem.  On the lab side, Dr. McCarter always shows her interest, encouraging her students to look at their experiments and outcomes from every angle to inspire their fascination with research.


Dr. Antentor O. Hinton, Jr.

Antentor Hinton receives his award at the OVPR's Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Hinton is a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Dr. E. Dale Abel (a 2017 DMA recipient) in the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. He was nominated by Margaret Mungai (2019 EURA recipient), Jordan Samuel, and Serif Bacevac. Dr. Hinton is noted by his mentees for his dedication to mentorship, optimism, and contagious excitement for science. Whether it is creating practice MCAT questions or helping to hone resumes, Dr. Hinton has gone above and beyond in his duty as a mentor to leave a deep and long-lasting impact on his students. Above all else, Dr. Hinton recognizes his mentees as people. 

Dr. Joyce Tsai

Dr. Tsai receives her award at the OVPR's 2018 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Tsai is a Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Education and a Curator of Art at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Art. She was nominated by her student and OUR Fellow Lindley Warren. Dr. Tsai’s unique blend of expertise has made her an invaluable resource for students like Lindley. She is an unwavering advocate for the creative scholarship of her students, working to secure funding where needed and arrange opportunities that will push students as artists and academics. Dr. Tsai’s selfless generosity with her time has created career-defining experiences for her undergraduates.


Dr. E. Dale Abel

Dr. Abel receives his award at the OVPR's 2017 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Abel is the Chair and DEO of Internal Medicine, the Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, the Director of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism in the Department of Internal Medicine, and the Head of the Interdisciplinary Diabetes Clinic at the Iowa River Landing.  On top of these highly demanding roles, he makes time to mentor a broad range of individuals, including many undergraduate students.  His nomination for this award came from seniors Niko McCarty and Paul Taufalele, who wrote that, despite his busy schedule, “[Dr. Abel] always makes himself available to assist students with their research, grant proposals, and applications; pushing them to exceed beyond previously conceived limitations.”

Dr. Gordon Buchanan

Dr. Buchanan receives his award at the OVPR's 2017 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Gordon Buchanan is an Assistant Professor in the University of Iowa’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience.  His nomination for this award came from Callie Ginapp and Stephen Kruse.  Each nominator said that Dr. Buchanan’s successful mentorship style comes from a “guide-from-the-side” approach, allowing students autonomy while expecting self-motivation and responsibility, combined with an open-door attitude that facilitates a sense of community within the lab and a friendly environment open to questions and discovery.


Dr. Scott Baalrud

Dr. Baalrud receives his award at the OVPR's 2016 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Baalrud is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  He was nominated by his student Patrick Adrian, a junior majoring in Physics who works with Dr. Baalrud in the Fundamental Plasma Theory Group.  In his nomination, Patrick wrote “Dr. Baalrud is an excellent candidate for this award because he has not restrained his mentorship to the confines of our project. Rather he has taken his role to include my life question: how to become a physicist.  He has worked to answer it in unique ways by including me in intellectual spaces in which I can develop and in situations where I can discover myself.”

Dr. Mahmoud Abou Alaiwa

Dr. Baalrud receives his award at the OVPR's 2016 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Alaiwa is an Assistant Professor in the Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine group in Internal Medicine.  He was nominated by his student Chris Cozzolino, a senior Biochemistry major researching cystic fibrosis with Dr. Alaiwa.  In the nomination, Chris wrote “I think that the main difference between Mahmoud and other mentors is that Mahmoud actively loves to learn, but takes it a step further by bringing me along for the ride. He is such an effective mentor because he will sit there with me in the room and teach me while he is learning new material himself, so that we could both move forward with the same knowledge base.  That is such a powerful way as a student to learn material.  Mahmoud has not only gained my loyalty and respect, but has made me want to provide that same experience to my future mentees.”


Dr. Brandon Davies


Dr. Davies receives his award at the OVPR's 2015 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Davies is an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry and was nominated by two students, Hannah Shows and Emily Britt. In support of Dr. Davie’s nomination, Hannah wrote “Dr. Davies has always made undergraduate student success a priority.  Being part of the Davies Lab is always the best part of my week.  Dr. Davies goes out of his way to provide a balance of independence and guidance to his students to make sure we are getting the most out of our experience.”  In her letter, Emily said, “In our weekly lab meeting everyone is encouraged to ask questions. This has been influential for me.  It would be easy to sit back and be overwhelmed by the quantity of new information.  Instead, I have to engage with the material and formulate questions. I am greatly appreciative of Dr. Davies as a mentor for my development into a qualified undergraduate researcher.”

Larissa Samuelson

Dr. Samuelson receives his award at the OVPR's 2015 Celebrating Excellence Dinner

Dr. Samuelson is a Professor of Psychology and was nominated by Jordan Mattis and Daniel Plebanek.  Jordan says of working with Dr. Samuelson, “she has taught me more about research than any class or other professor would have.  No mentor is as happily committed to the mentoring process than Dr. Samuelson.  I consider the time I’ve spent working with her to be the most important and influential experience I have had as an undergraduate.”  Dan echoed these comments and wrote, “The key quality that sets Larissa apart is her dedication and investment to the advancement of her students.  My involvement with Larissa has been one of the defining experiences of my undergraduate career.  She is fully responsible for the young scientist that I have become.  I cannot thank her enough for the enormous impact she has made on my life.”

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