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January 12, 2022

In the fall, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences launched the Online Undergraduate Research Scholars (OURS) program – a program that provides hands-on, experiential learning for students enrolled through U.S.S. online. The OURS program also has several other components, including seed funding for faculty to develop group research experiences and scholarships to support student research.

Five online students were recently selected as the first scholarship recipients under the program. They will each receive $1,000 in funding to support their education and research efforts.

Armstrong Hall on the Tempe campus is home to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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“We have an abundance of outstanding online students in our degree programs, and we are pleased to support them in their research endeavors and professional development through this scholarship,” said Ara Austin, Director of Online Engagement and Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Clinical Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, who led the OURS program. “The College and EdPlus look forward to serving many more students online through the OURS program.”

The program, led by the College and supported by EdMore at Arizona State University, is currently on trial in the College’s Natural Sciences division and will expand to the Social Sciences and Humanities divisions in the upcoming Fall 2022 semester. Since its launch, 63 online students have participated to research opportunities through OURS initiatives.

Meet the five students who were selected as the first scholarship recipients:

Louisa Brill
Major: Biological sciences (genetics, cell and developmental biology)
Brill is a senior passionate about human health and understanding the immune system. She was drawn to ASU because she was able to earn an undergraduate degree while still living in a rural setting.

She is a teaching assistant and tutor for the online organic chemistry courses at the School of Molecular Sciences. Outside of school, she works as an emergency medical technician for a private ambulance company that serves much of northern Arizona.

After graduation, Brill hopes to either pursue a master’s degree at ASU to study genetics and virology or prepare for medical school. She aspires to find a career in the medical field with clinical, research and teaching components.

“With this scholarship, I will be able to work less overtime and focus more on my classes, my research and my applications to medical school. I am forever grateful for the experiences and support I received during my time at ASU,” said Brill.

Drake Paris
Major: History
Drake, a medieval history buff, first became interested in research after reading Eric Jager’s non-fiction book ‘The Last Duel’, which details the last officially recognized court duel that took place in France.

With the help of the Fellowship, she hopes to examine when and why trial by combat ceased to be common practice. In addition to her studies, she enjoys playing the piano, listening to historical podcasts and traveling abroad.

After completing his research at ASU, Drake plans to apply to the MA program in Medieval Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She also aspires to pursue a doctorate and eventually become a professor of history.

“This scholarship will allow me to attend ASU and complete my bachelor’s degree in history. Additionally, it will provide support while I complete my proposed research paper to submit with my graduate school application,” Drake said.

Kris Ganzel
Majors: Physics, astronomical and planetary sciences
Ganzel is a first generation student with an interest in astrophysics. He is part of the first cohort of the School of Earth and Space Exploration’s new online Astronomical and Planetary Science degree program.

He is currently working as a supplemental teaching manager for several astronomy courses at the School of Earth and Space Exploration and as a software quality assurance engineer. Additionally, he sits on the board of several clubs, including the Sun Devil Stargazers, a club he founded.

After graduation, Ganzel hopes to continue her graduate studies at ASU by pursuing a doctorate in astrophysics. In the future, he aspires to create an online series showing young students how the concepts they learn in school can be used in real-world science to help strengthen the connection between their education and their hobbies. time.

“The past year and a half has probably been one of the most difficult times of my life. That said, it has also been by far the most rewarding, as I have managed to accomplish so much more than I ever would have. thought possible, and there are so many people at ASU I have to thank for supporting me through the process,” Ganzel said. “This scholarship will help me achieve my goal of not only being the first in my family to graduate from high school, but the first to earn a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate.”

Carrie Holmes
Major: Biochemistry (BA)
Holmes is interested in organic chemistry, particularly the study of neurological pathways and finding connections between seemingly unrelated systems in the brain. She discovered her passion for this subject later while at ASU, after thinking she didn’t like it after a bad experience in high school chemistry class.

She works with a doctoral student in neuroscience, exploring the relationship between direct transcranial stimulation and physical activity and motivation to exercise. When not immersed in organic chemistry, she takes on the role of mother, mind-body instructor, and crossword adept.

After graduation, Holmes hopes to communicate the knowledge she has acquired in ways that are creative, understandable and interesting to the general public.

“The support I feel from this gift is an unexpected and crucial marker in my professional journey. It is both an affirmation of my unconventional journey to science and a forefront of my ability to succeed as a scientist,” Holmes said.

Preston Toehe
Major: Geographic Information Sciences
Toehe is passionate about geographic information science, technology and creating a more sustainable world.

His career as an engineering technician in the coal mining industry led him to attend ASU and get formal training in geographic information science.

With his training, he hopes to pilot state-of-the-art drone technology to collect surface modules by photogrammetry. Upon graduation, her goal is to become a senior analyst in GPS data collection with drone technology.

“This scholarship will allow me to attend ASU to further my education in GIS. With this support, I will not only advance my career and education, but also help my community by providing reliable energy that can help power homes by simply helping my business provide potential energy,” Toehe said. .