School of Engineering assistant professor Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman, PhD, has been given the 2018 Undergraduate Research Award by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Nominated by their peers, the award is given annually to a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to supporting undergraduate research and faculty-student scholarly collaboration.

“The number of students that she has impacted through undergraduate research advising is impressive,” said Corinne Corvalho, PhD, and John Wentz, PhD, in their nomination of Nelson-Cheeseman. “While the numbers are impressive, it is the manner in which she interacts and impacts the students that is more impressive. … Nelson-Cheeseman’s curiosity and love of learning is infectious as she provides strong advocacy for both the undergraduate research experience but also urging her students to use that experience as a stepping stone to go on to graduate school.”

The program director of Materials Science and Engineering, Nelson-Cheeseman has advised 29 undergraduate students since arriving in 2012. She has also had seven undergraduate co-authors published in six works of competitive journals, and taken nine undergraduate students to research conferences where they presented 11 posters.

“I believe Nelson-Cheeseman’s greatest strength is how much she cares about her students. … She will go out of her way to help her students have a successful future,” advisee Mike Patton said. “I have devoted an extensive amount of time toward reaching graduate school and Nelson-Cheeseman has been by my side throughout the entire process by providing feedback, support and recommendations so I can be successful.”

Nelson-Cheeseman will accept her award at the Inquiry at UST Poster Session on May 8, noon-1 p.m. in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall in the Anderson Student Center.

The Newsroom has featured Nelson-Cheeseman’s work in several stories, including “Faces of Change in Engineering,” using flipped classrooms, “How it Works: 3D Printing at St. Thomas,” and as the adviser of four engineering students accepted into Stanford University’s University Innovation Fellows.

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