Undergrads Recognized for Outstanding Research Skills

This June, two students were awarded the 2023 Undergraduate Library Research Prize (ULRP), an annual program that enriches the undergraduate student experience at UC San Diego by promoting innovative and collaborative research. Now in its 17th year, this award recognizes the outstanding scholarly work of undergraduate students who demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving and strategic use of Library resources, services and expertise in support of the university’s mission. The prize is co-sponsored by the Library, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and UC San Diego Alumni.

The 2023 ULRP recipients are Anne Parnell, a history, political science-international relations major at Earl Warren College and Sky Li, a neurobiology and computer science specialized in bioinformatics major at Revelle College. Both honorees were recognized at an awards ceremony hosted at Geisel Library on June 1, 2023, and received a cash award of $1,000.

Among other speakers at the event, UC San Diego’s Dean of Undergraduate Research Advancement and Director of the Undergraduate Research Hub, David Artis, praised the winners for their hard work and unwavering commitment to the research process.

“Someday, a student will win this prize, and at least one of the sources that student cites will have been authored by one of you,” said Artis. “I feel very confident making this statement because the Library already holds materials authored by alumni. You are part of a tradition now and have shown the initiative to succeed as scholars. Congratulations!”

To be considered for the prize, students must be nominated by a faculty member and participate in UC San Diego’s annual Undergraduate Research Conference, hosted by the Undergraduate Research Hub, or other university programs that foster and recognize student research and scholarship.

“The ULRP highlights the incredible, high-level research that undergraduates at UC San Diego engage in,” said Dani Cook, Associate University Librarian, Learning and User Experience. “It is inspiring to see how students use Library resources and services to new and creative ends. One of the rewards of library work is to support students in pursuing their interests and building their research skills, and we are delighted to recognize their work with the campus community. Congratulations to Anne and Sky on their achievements. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Anne Parnell won for her research project, “Seeking Justice: Limited Tribal Jurisdiction in Cases of Sexual Violence.” Parnell conducted her research under the mentorship of Mary C. Klann, PhD, Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of History at UC San Diego. She presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference on the difficulties of seeking justice for sexual and domestic violence in the scope of limited tribal jurisdiction. Her primary goal in conducting this research was to better understand the impacts of the Indian Civil Rights Act on the judicial autonomy of Tribal governments in the United States.

“Winning this award is an honor and truly humbling. I take great pride in my research and am grateful to the Library for offering me the opportunity to dive deeper into my chosen subject matter and complete this project,” said Parnell. “I want to extend my gratitude to the Library and its librarians, specifically, for being there when I needed them most.”

Sky Li won for his research project, “Diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Using a Robust 14 Species Signature.” Sky conducted his research under the mentorship of Weg M. Ongkeko, MD, PhD, Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Li’s research involved utilizing modern, machine-learning-powered bioinformatic tools to harvest the power of genomic and clinical datasets to investigate cancers, COVID-19 and other diseases. His project was presented at the 2023 Triton Research and Experiential Learning Scholars (TRELS) event where he was honored with the TRELS scholarship.

“The Library proved to be instrumental in my research for this project,” Li shared. “Without the guidance of librarians and other Library staff, I am confident my research would not have yielded such compelling outcomes. The content gathered and spaces used throughout my studies allowed me to grow my knowledge exponentially.”

For more information about the Undergraduate Library Research Prize, visit lib.ucsd.edu/ulrp.

Scholarly Posters Celebrated by Librarians at Summer Research Symposium

In January 2023, more than 90 medical and pharmacy students presented posters detailing the results of their projects at UC San Diego’s Summer Research Symposium. A team of health sciences librarians reviewed all the posters in order to award the Library’s Best Use of Literature in a Poster distinction. This accolade recognizes researchers who best cited the sources used in their research.

The librarians evaluated the variety of resources used, the use of citations throughout the poster, the currency of the sources and the completeness and consistency of sources cited. First and second-place awards were given to both medical and pharmacy students, along with a monetary prize. The award-winning posters were displayed in WongAvery Library for several months following the symposium.

The next session, the 2024 Summer Research Symposium, will be held on January 18, 2024 in the Price Center Ballroom.

2023 Medical Student Recipients

First place: Ariadne Nichol for “Rapid Review of COVID-19 Vaccination Access and Acceptance for Global Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Undocumented Migrant Populations.”

Second place: Rhiannon Buchholz for “Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A) of Conjunctiva in Health and Disease.”

2023 Pharmacy Student Recipients

First place: Louis Odeesho for “Screening Antarctic, Brazilian and Ghanaian Natural Products Against Trypanosoma Brucei.”

Second place: Xiaoying Huang for “Initial In-Vivo Study of Antidotes, RS194B and 2-Pralidoxime, in Target Tissues.”

The articles above originally appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Explore magazine, the Library’s signature publication. Read the full issue online here.