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IU Bloomington Honors Student Excellence with the 2024 Provost’s Award

Established in 2010, this esteemed award celebrates exceptional achievements in research and creative endeavors by undergraduate students across various disciplines, emphasizing the crucial role of these experiences within the university community.

May 21, 2024
Tulips near Sample Gates at IU Bloomington.
Tulips near Sample Gates at IU Bloomington.

Indiana University Bloomington proudly announces the recipients of the 2024 Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. Established in 2010, this esteemed award celebrates exceptional achievements in research and creative endeavors by undergraduate students across various disciplines, emphasizing the crucial role of these experiences within the university community.

The 2024 Provost’s Award encompasses the following categories:

  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Humanities
  • Natural and Mathematical Sciences
  • Professional Inquiry
  • Social and Applied Sciences

Each category of the Provost’s Award recognizes students who have demonstrated leadership or made significant contributions to outstanding academic work, as nominated by professors and selected by a committee of faculty and administrators. Additionally, the mentors of each winner are acknowledged, highlighting the collaborative nature of this prestigious award.

Administered by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the nomination process commences annually in January, welcoming nominations from faculty mentors across all academic schools. Eligibility for the award is extended to all undergraduate students and faculty members, fostering a culture of academic excellence and innovation.

The 2024 Provost’s Award winners, along with their esteemed mentors, are:

  • Osamudiamen Ogbeide, mentored by Keisuke Kawata
  • Lee Andrews, mentored by Justyna Zajac
  • Prabhvir Lakhan, mentored by Lauren Rutter
  • Kev Addison, mentored by Lori Frye
  • Lauren Andrea Ulrich, mentored by Suzannah Comfort (initially matched through the Sustainability Scholars Program)

The Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity includes a $500 scholarship for student recipients, generously supported by the Offices of the Provost, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. The award also acknowledges faculty mentors who play a significant role, providing role models, access to professional circles, and support for student dissemination. Faculty mentors and awardees were recognized at the 2024 IU Bloomington Honors Convocation in April.

This award exemplifies Indiana University Bloomington’s dedication to excellence in education and the cultivation of future leaders and innovators. Congratulations to all the award recipients for their outstanding achievements.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2024 Provost’s Award!

Meet the winners!

Osamudiamen Ogbeide

Osamudiamen Ogbeide (He/Him), mentored by Keisuke Kawata
Social and Applied Sciences category

During my 4-years at Indiana University, I was fortunate to have been able to work in Dr. Keisuke Kawata’s research lab. This has been a transformative experience that has not only impacted my academic pursuit during my undergraduate years but has also had an impact on my future aspirations. With the guidance of Dr. Kawata and everyone else in the lab, I have worked on various studies and was recently able to lead my own study that explored the changes in the blink reflex in response to subconcussive head impacts. This opportunity given to me by the lab has helped cultivate numerous academic and social skills and has also led to me winning my first research award at the 2023 National Neuroscience Conference and sending my manuscript for review in a journal. These skills and knowledge that I have gained from working in Dr. Kawata’s lab while we explore subconcussive head impacts will serve as a foundation for my future pursuits and I am eternally grateful for the time I have been able to work with him.

What did this project teach you?

This research experience has been instrumental in my personal growth, instilling a sense of accomplishment and confidence. It has further developed my problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, and has deepened my knowledge of various health related topics.


Lee Andrews

Lee Andrews (He/Him), mentored by Justyna Zajac
Professional Inquiry category

The Czech Republic is a leader in countering hybrid threats, which combine conventional and non-conventional tactics to destabilize or undermine state security. Russia and China pose significant threats in this realm, using methods such as disinformation campaigns, energy coercion, sabotage, and cyber espionage. Czechia was among the first in Europe to create official government institutions to countermeasure these threats. This paper delves not only into Czechia’s past hybrid incidents but also looks at its official government responses and National Strategy, both of which emphasize resilience and whole-of-society approaches. Despite evolving strategies and coordination challenges, Czechia’s efforts serve as a model for addressing hybrid threats and promoting proactive measures and societal resilience.

What did this project teach you?

My project was a policy paper analyzing Czechia’s hybrid threat history, responses, policies created to combat potential issues, and the evolution of those policies. I gained a new appreciation for researching a project from as many aspects as possible, the challenge of cataloging the info, and deciding what information to use to concisely create a final report that will be valuable to the end user.


Prabhvir Lakhan

Prabhvir Lakhan (He/Him), mentored by Lauren Rutter
Natural and Mathematical Sciences category

I submitted all of the work that I have done at IU. I have been doing research at Indiana University with Dr. Lauren Rutter since my freshman year. My research has always examined negative affect variability which is how negative emotions change over a period of time. Last year, I examined how negative affect variability is related to depression and anxiety. This year, for my honors thesis, I examined how negative affect variability is associated with somatic symptoms and cognition.

What did this project teach you?

Research has made me a much better student because I have become a better problem solver, and I have become much more curious. Research has taught me how little we know and how much more is left to learn which makes me extremely excited. Furthermore, I have become more resilient because everyone has different setbacks and obstacles in research, and I have become better at dealing with these setbacks and persevering.


Kev Addison

Kev Addison (He/Him), mentored by Lori Frye

Creative and Performing Arts category

My work included case studies from the Fashion Scholarship Fund that included inclusivity and researching sustainability initiatives that would help advance different brands deemed relevant in the fashion industry. In addition, I was able to take on an independent study surrounding historical garment research in both menswear and womenswear as well as advancing my skills in technical design, construction, and textile development.

What did this project teach you?

These various projects further advanced my understanding of how innovation is scripted from history. Research is such an important part of the journey for anyone looking to push the boundaries. One’s own creativity coupled with extensive depths of research and development is what changes a society perspectives or way of thinking and living. I have been able to advance my skills in design and finding more of what I enjoy creating. Something that feels authentic to me. That’s the exciting part about this entire thing.


Lauren Ulrich

Lauren Andrea Ulrich (She/Her), mentored by Suzannah Comfort (initially matched through the Sustainability Scholars Program)

Humanities category

I began this project my freshman year with the Sustainability Scholars program. The program pairs freshman and sophomore students with faculty mentors for a semester-long research project. I was paired with Dr. Suzannah Evans Comfort to research the rise of environmental journalism at the New York Times. Our project was only supposed to last one semester, but Dr. Comfort and I worked together so well that we decided to expand it. Our project compares the Times’ coverage of environmental controversies in the 1950s to the 1960s-70s. It documents how the newsworthiness of the environment changed over time, which offers an important history lesson for American journalism today. Our paper, “From Distant to Devastating: The Newsworthiness of Environmental Controversies at the New York Times, 1950s–1970s” was published in the Fall 2022 edition of Journalism History.

What did this project teach you?

When I started this project as a freshman, I had never conducted any kind of formal research. Dr. Comfort gave me the freedom to explore my curiosity and empowered me to see myself as a real “researcher.” My first assignment was to look into the Times archive, and I pretty quickly had a Google Sheet going with over a hundred articles. I loved the feeling of discovering something new, which has really motivated me as a journalist and student at IU. I plan to work in environmental journalism after I graduate, so it’s all come pretty full circle.

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