UT Honors Ten Undergraduates for Academic Excellence

Each spring, the University of Texas at Austin recognizes undergraduate students for superior scholarly or creative achievement. The UT Co-op George H. Mitchell Award honors undergraduate students who have demonstrated unparalleled dedication and achievement in their fields of study.

All awards are faculty nominated, and the selection committee consists of diverse faculty members.

This year, 64 undergraduate students submitted their research or creative project in one of four categories: artistic/creative, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). A committee of faculty members reviewed each application and selected four from each category to recognize as semifinalists. Of the 16 semifinalists, six submissions were selected as recipients of the 2023 UT Co-op George H. Mitchell Award and four were selected for special recognition.

Awardees received awards from $7,000 to $1,625 for their submission.

2023 UT Co-op George H. Mitchell Award Recipients

Stephane Hatgis-Kessel

Award: $7,000
Major: Computer Science
Category: Grand Prize, STEM
Winning Project: Models of human preference for learning reward functions 

Amtul-noor Rana

Award: $7,000
Major: Neuroscience Honors
Category: Grand Prize, Social Sciences
Winning Project: Validating the Use of Telehealth for Identifying Cognitive Impairments in Older Adults 

Emma Gueorguieva

Award: $5,000
Major: Psychology
Category: Social Sciences
Winning Project: Language Analysis of Emotional Expression in Naturalistic and Experimental Text Samples

Katherine Faulkner

Award: $5,000
Major: Environmental Science and Biological Science Honors
Category: STEM
Winning Project: Long-Term Evolutionary Trends Within Benthic Foraminifera

Benjamin Cervantes

Award: $5,000
Major: Theatre and Dance
Category: Artistic/Creative
Winning Project: A Second Look into the Theatrical World of Jim Steinman

Sophia Kontos

Award: $5,000
Major: International Relations and Global Studies and Plan II
Category: Humanities
Winning Project: “European Just on Eurosong:” Examining Performances of Nation and European Identity at the Eurovision Song Contest

2023 George H. Mitchell Award – Special Recognition

Thomas Jennings

Award: $1,625
Major: English and Humanities    
Category: Artistic/Creative
Project: Udumbara Press

Amanda Figueroa-Nieves

Award: $1,625
Major: History and Plan II
Category: Humanities
Project: “LA LUCHA” Federal Responses to Anti-Navy Protests in Vieques, post-1990

Sarah Syamken

Award: $1,625
Major: International Relations and Global Studies and Spanish
Category: Social Sciences
Project: Linguistic Typology and Cross-Linguistic Influence in L3 Brazilian Portuguese Morphology Acquisition by U.S. Spanish Heritage Speakers

Neel Nagarajan

Award: $1,625
Major: Astronomy
Category: STEM
Project: Chemical Compositions of Red Giant Stars in the Old Open Cluster

2023 George H. Mitchell Semi-Finalists

Lokesh Pugalenthi, STEM
Mia Orlandella, Humanities
Eduardo Rincon, Humanities
Ria Goyal, Social Sciences
Leah Blom, Artistic/Creative
Anna Valdman, Artistic/Creative