May 7, 2019
On April 30, UT Austin with generous finanical support from the University Co-op, recognized excellence in graduate academics, teaching and professional services, and undergraduate superior scholarly or creative achievement at the annual University Co-op Graduate and Undergraduate Academic Excellence Awards ceremony.
The Graduate School awards honor excellence in advising, coordinating, teaching, student teaching, as well as the outstanding dissertation and thesis awards. The dissertation awards include the Granof Award, the university’s top dissertation and graduate student award.
Candidates for the awards were nominated by individuals across campus, and winners were determined by selection committees composed of faculty, staff, and students.
George H. Mitchell Undergraduate Awards
The 2019 George H. Mitchell Undergraduate Awards for Academic Excellence recognized five students for their superior scholarly or creative achievement. Two students received awards of $2,500 each, two students received awards of $5,000 each, and one student received the top award of $12,000.
The grand prize winner was Ariel Rebekah Barr, a senior physics and pure mathematics double major, whose research interests include topology, the mathematical study of shapes and their spatial arrangements, and how the topological properties of materials such as graphene may have major technological applications.
This year, 66 undergraduate students submitted their research or creative project in one of four categories: artistic/creative, humanities, social sciences, and STEM. A committee of faculty members reviewed each application, and five students were selected as recipients of the 2019 awards.
2019 Undergraduate Award Recipients
Ariel Rebekah Barr
Major: Physics and Pure Mathematics
Winning project: Floquet Topological Transitions in Extended Kane-Mele Models with Disorder
Major: Physics and Astronomy
Winning project: Orbital Motion of the Wide Planetary-mass Companion GSC 6214-210 b: No Evidence for Dynamical Scattering
Major: Plan II Honors and Neuroscience
Category: Social Sciences
Winning project: Foreign Bodies: An Anthropological Study of Latinx Immigrant Experiences with Chronic Illness in the U.S. Healthcare System
Major: Plan II Honors and French
Winning project: Suspended in Sound: Music as Experience In Proust
Major: Plan II Honors and Honors Physics
Winning project: Improved Large-Energy-Range Magnetic Electron-Positron Spectrometer for Experiments with the Texas Petawatt Laser