Current Ambassadors

Profile of Alex Vanover

Alex Vanover

Year in School

Junior

Major Degree Program / Department

Biochemistry

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Barry Edwards, Biochemistry

Why did you want to become an ambassador?

“I always knew that research was going to be important to me. Getting hands-on experience in a real laboratory is completely different from what you learn in classroom labs, and getting that experience as an undergraduate would help me get a head start on becoming a great scientist. I became ambassador because I love working in research and want to encourage anybody who thinks scientific and experimentally give research a try.”

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Profile of Ashwin Garlapaty

Ashwin Garlapaty

Year in School

Junior

Major Degree Program / Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Aaron Stoker, Orthopaedic Surgery

Why is undergraduate research important?

“Undergraduate Research allows students to go beyond the classroom. Students are not learning from textbooks but learning from new discoveries they’ve made in their own research.”

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Profile Bethany

Bethany Moore

Year in School

Sophomore

Major Degree Program / Department

International Studies

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jennifer Bohanek

Why did you want to become an Ambassador?

Participating in research was the best experience of my Freshman year. I was able to develop skills in communication, leadership, and collaboration; meanwhile, I made lasting academic connections and gained personalized mentorship. I wanted to become an ambassador to encourage other undergraduates to pursue research opportunities. Coming to college, I thought “research” was solely defined by lab experimentation with test tubes and microscopes; I quickly learned that there is a vast space and great need for research in all areas of study. As an ambassador, I hope to demonstrate that people of all majors and all interests – whether STEM, humanities, or anything in between – have a place in undergraduate research.

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Profile of Carson Gaddie

Carson Gaddie

Year in School

Sophomore

Major Degree Program / Department

Biological Science

Faculty Mentor(s)

Chiswili Yves Chabu

Why did you want to become an ambassador?

I found out through the S.T.A.R. workshops, which allowed me to better understand the components of the research environment and the role they can play in those environments.

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Profile of Delanie Vinzant

Delanie Vinzant

Year in School

Senior

Major Degree Program / Department

Biological Sciences, Economics

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Pam Brown, Biological Sciences

What piece of advice would you give to any student interested in pursuing undergraduate research?

“I would advise any student interested in research to look into the work of several labs that seem interesting and then speak to more than one PI before selecting a lab. Choosing the right lab for you is important!”

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Headshot of D. Cox

Della Cox

Year in School

Senior

Major Degree Program / Department

Sociology & Statistics

Faculty Mentor(s)

Drs. Christopher Josey, Figueroa-Caballero, and Eileen Avery

Why did you want to become an Ambassador?

I know finding research opportunities can be intimidating and difficult. I have experience doing research within and outside of Mizzou, with professors of sociology, psychology, communication, biology, and political science. And I hope to use this experience to help students interested in research to find and be successful in research opportunities.

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Profile of Devanshi Patel

Devanshi Patel

Year in School

Sophomore

Major Degree Program / Department

Health Science

Faculty Mentor(s)

Gary Baker

Why did you want to become an ambassador?

The desire to make it easier for freshman to get into research is how I reached out and became an ambassador.

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Profile of Lauren Tigner

Lauren Tigner

Year in School

Sophomore

Major Degree Program / Department

Speech, Lang, & Hear Sci-BHS

Faculty Mentor(s)

Stacy Wagovich

Why did you want to become an ambassador?

I became a research ambassador because I have had a great experience in undergraduate research. It has shown me the real application of what I am learning in class and I want to share my experiences and story with others!

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Profile Leah

Leah Lepore

Year in School

Sophomore

Major Degree Program / Department

Biochemistry

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Chris Lorson

Why did you want to become an Ambassador?

The task of finding your niche of research can be a rewarding feat, but also serve as a daunting task. Being a point of contact as someone who has gone through the experience, I hoped to do something to make it more navigable for students who want to learn more about the realm of possibilities in research. By becoming an ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research, I can do just that.

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Profile of Maddy Creach

Maddy Creach

Year in School

Senior

Major Degree Program / Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Walter Gassmann, Plant Sciences

Why did you want to become an ambassador?

“I wanted to become an undergraduate research ambassador at Mizzou to show my peers the value that working in a lab and doing research has brought me. Not only has being in a lab provided real world experience for my studies but it has given me the confidence to present my research to experts at Mizzou. I know that being in a lab as an undergraduate is not always the most positive experience at first but with time and dedication I have found a support system within my work that has been vital to my undergraduate career.”

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Mandar Bhoyar

Year in School

Graduate

Major Degree Program / Department

Psychology

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Mason Ward

Year in School

Senior

Major Degree Program / Department

Plant Sciences

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Deborah Finke and Dr. Robert Sites

Why did you want to become an Ambassador?

I had wanted to be an Undergraduate Research Ambassador because I desired to share my research experience with my fellow peers, mentors, and prospective students. I have been blessed with research opportunities, and I believe it is important to show others the value in research as well as encourage them to get involved. My research labs have provided me with the knowledge experience to excel in my future endeavors.

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Profile of Meghan Lawlor

Meghan Lawlor

Year in School

Senior

Major Degree Program / Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Pete Sutovsky, Animal Sciences

Why did you want to become an ambassador?

“I wanted to become an ambassador to inform, encourage, and serve as an approachable resource for undergraduates of all majors who are interested in conducting research. I wish for all undergraduates to know how research provides countless opportunities to discover and explore the field you are passionate about while learning lots and making connections along the way.”

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Profile of Micah Turrell

Micah Turrell

Year in School

Graduate

Major Degree Program / Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Manuel Leal

Can you name a time that stands out as a great experience during your time as an undergraduate researcher?

My best moment so far would be the time that I presented the results of my research project (that I completed as part of LSUROP) at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. I really enjoyed the opportunity to share my research and exchange ideas with scientists in my field.

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Profile of Rebecca Shyu

Rebecca Shyu

Year in School

Senior

Major Degree Program / Department

Computer Science

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Iris Zachary, Health Management & Informatics

Why did you want to become an ambassador?

“I applied to be an Undergraduate Research Ambassador because I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with incredible projects and mentors during my time here at Mizzou. Doing research can open up doors to many other opportunities for graduate school or internships/jobs, and I think that everyone should have the chance to do so!”

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