2022 Award Winners

Zayd Al Rawi profile picture

Zayd Al Rawi

Zayd Al Rawi is a senior Biological Sciences major with a minor in psychology, from Columbia, Missouri.  He has worked in the lab of Dr. Chris Lorson since his freshman year in the fall of 2018 researching a neuromuscular disease known as SMARD1 that affects infants. Through participating in the NIH funded MARC/IMSD program, Zayd has worked on projects utilizing gene therapy as a potential treatment, in addition to exploring neuronal degeneration as a cause for the respiratory distress observed. He has presented his work on numerous occasions, recently winning an Outstanding Poster Presentation award at the 2021 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. He has been published as an author with Dr. Lorson three times. Through participating in summer research, he has also completed a research internship this past summer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, winning an outstanding presentation award on his research in exploring genes that contribute to congenital diaphragmatic hernias. Additionally, Zayd has been involved in fostering an inclusive space for minority students on campus. He has served as a peer mentor for the MARC/IMSD program for the last two years, assisting underrepresented students exploring research. He has also mentored and tutored students through the PAWS pre-medical program at Mizzou over the last couple of years. Zayd has also been involved in the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students as the Vice President, treasurer, and community service chair. He also works as a nursing assistant in the surgical specialties, trauma, and burn center at the University Hospital. As a part of the Muslim Student Organization, he has most recently served as the President and Vice President. Zayd is honored to be a recipient of the Mizzou ‘39 award. This July, Zayd will begin his medical school journey.

Maggie Courtney profile picture

Maggie Courtney

Maggie Courtney is a sophomore from Springfield, Missouri, double majoring in sociology and journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication. As a Founders’ Memorial Scholar, she has participated in research as a journalism major by writing articles, creating videos, and maintaining aspects of the Honors College social media presence since the beginning of her freshman year. Outside of this role, Courtney is involved on campus in multiple organizations, including the Alumni Association Student Board, Honors Ambassadors, University Treble Choir, and Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity, where she currently serves as a New Member Director. She is a Walter Williams Scholar and 2021 Hesburgh Award recipient. Courtney was also selected as a 2021 Omicron Delta Kappa Top 14 Distinguished Freshman for excellence in scholarship, leadership, and community service and engaged in biweekly meetings with other award recipients to workshop leadership skills and network with rising leaders on campus. Recently, Courtney greatly enjoyed working for the 2022 True/False Film Festival as a Hospitality and Guest Relations Coordinator. She will intern with Raindance Film Festival in London, England in Summer 2022 through Mizzou Journalism School’s internship study abroad program.

Quinn Cunningham profile picture

Quinn Cunningham

A senior from Columbia, Missouri, Quinn will earn degrees in Physics and Linguistics and a minor in Mathematics. In addition to taking coursework in multiple disciplines, Quinn has been an active member of the Mizzou soccer practice squad, Climate Leaders at Mizzou, Linguistics Club, and Society of Physics Students. Quinn has participated in three undergraduate research groups at Mizzou. From Fall 2019 to Spring 2021, Quinn conducted research in the solid-state physics lab of Deepak Singh and has co-authored a Physics journal publication. Since early 2021, Quinn has worked with Professor Konstantin Makarov in the mathematics department on problems related to statistical physics models based on number theoretic functions. Since summer 2018, Quinn has been a part of the ASH Scholars: Documenting Luhya Together research group. In Summer 2021, Quinn carried out research in Kaimosi, Kenya. Since fall 2021, Quinn has been learning app development and building a multi-featured language learning iOS app he plans to publish soon. In his spare time, Quinn practices scientific programming and data visualization and analysis using Python and aids other undergraduate and graduate students with data related projects.

Addie von Drehle profile picture

Addie Von Drehle

As a Constitutional Democracy major, Addie studies Social and Political Thought, allowing her to take interdisciplinary classes in areas she care deeply about, such as Black Studies and Women and Gender Studies. Addie is also minoring in Philosophy and Psychology.

The Kinder Institute has introduced Addie to other programs, such as the Oxford Study Abroad Program and the D.C. Summer Program. Addie spent a week in Oxford with twenty classmates attending lectures with Corpus Christi College at Oxford University and exploring the city. This summer, she will take a class with the Kinder Institute while interning in Washington, D.C.

Outside of my studies, Addie has been a leader in Rockin’ Against Multiple Sclerosis, Mizzou’s largest student-run philanthropic organization. The money raised by RAMS goes to patients of the Multiple Sclerosis Institute to fund medical equipment and supplies not covered by insurance. Addie has been involved with RAMS since fall of her freshman year, and spent her junior year as its student-director. In the past three years, RAMS has raised over $360,000. Addie also served her sophomore year as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chapter Educator for Pi Beta Phi.

Zoe Korte profile picture

Zoe Korte

Zoe Korte is a junior from Kirksville, Missouri, majoring in English, Spanish, and Ancient Greek. She became involved in the MU creative writing community when she became an intern for The Missouri Review. In her time at MU, she has received four Kerr Poetry Awards and a Literature Emitting Diodes Award. Her work has also been published in The Disruptive Quarterly and is forthcoming in Glass Mountain. She is the secretary of the MU chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, an honor society dedicated to the study of classics. She recently placed second in the MU Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest. She currently works as a study plan consultant, helping fellow students succeed academically. In summer 2022 she will study abroad in Cusco and Lima, Peru, with the help of a Gilman Scholarship. In fall 2022 she will work with local 4-H programs to encourage children to pursue higher education. She hopes her studies as an undergraduate will prepare her for a future career as a children’s librarian and literary magazine editor.

Bailey Martin profile picture

Bailey Martin

Bailey is a first-generation college student from Salem, Missouri studying history and constitutional democracy. She hopes to continue pursuing her passion for public history in graduate school upon completing her undergraduate degree in May 2023. Bailey’s degree coursework heavily informs her extracurricular activities, guiding me to a myriad of advocacy and education work on campus and in the Columbia community. The physical manifestation of this close relationship between her studies and community is the movement to save Read Hall, a project Bailey has worked on alongside two other history department students. In addition to her work to save Read Hall, Bailey serves as an advocate for students to administrators, community stakeholders, and members of the General Assembly through the Associated Students of the University of Missouri. Her favorite ASUM-related project she has led is the proposal to declare Election Days campus-wide holidays, which would provide students with much needed flexibility in their schedules to perform their civic duty.

Kismet Okyere profile picture

Kismet Okyere

Kismet Okyere is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology, Criminal and Juvenile Justice, and Social Justice. She will also earn certificates in Addiction Behaviors and Multicultural Studies. She started her research journey in Dr. Cristina McCrae’s MizZzou Sleep Lab. Here, Kismet helped with patient intake, applying polysomnographic equipment, and assisting with MRIs. As a current McNair Scholar and a member of the Psychology Department’s Honors/Independent Capstone Program, she is working in Dr. Nicole Campione-Barr’s Family Relationship and Adolescent Development. Her current research examines the association between parent-child disclosure and adolescent risky behaviors. This research was submitted for the Midwestern Psychology Association conference and received the Regional Research Award from Psi Chi. She plans on using her research on parent-child relationships and her passion for criminology to determine how parent-child relationships affect adolescents, especially the population of juvenile offenders with parents who have been touched by the justice system. Beyond research, Kismet at-risk teen girls students through Desire to Aspire, teaching girls about healthy living, academic success, independence, and other topics that will help build up our next generation of women. Currently, Kismet serves as the President of Desire to Aspire. After graduation, Kismet will be attending Michigan State University to earn her Master’s in Criminology.

Jashayla Pettigrew profile picture

Jashayla Pettigrew

Jashayla Pettigrew is a senior from St. Louis, Missouri double majoring in journalism and Women’s and Gender Studies. She’s been co-coordinator of an on-campus program called Diversity Peer Educators since May 2020, after initially joining as a general body member in the spring of 2019. Through her role in planning and leading facilitations alongside other DPEs, she has helped educate hundreds of people on how to make MU a more equitable place for students, staff and faculty. In her time as a journalism student, she has studied in London, England. There, she was an editorial intern for Black Beauty & Hair magazine. In this role, she wrote for the print and digital magazine. She also worked alongside the editor-in-chief to write cover blurbs, prepare questions for interviewees, find visuals for the articles and more. Since adding Women’s and Gender Studies as a second major during her junior year, she has conducted research on issues affecting people with “non-normative” bodies. Her most recent research project focuses on the surveillance tactics of different social media websites, and what those tactics mean depending on one’s gender and sexuality. Jashayla is also a culture editor for Vox Magazine and a Brooks scholar. She plans to use her degrees to continue advocating for Black women, and writing for a publication that focuses on her passions for music, fashion, art and TV.

Tessi Muskrat Rickabaugh profile picture

Tessi Muskrat Rickabaugh

Tessi Muskrat Rickabaugh is a member of the Cherokee Nation and a senior majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies and Religious Studies, minoring in Psychology. Passionate about sexual and mental health, Tessi began researching sexual trauma at the intersection of gender and religion during her first semester, writing a paper on the impact of sexual shame and disgust. As a Cherng Summer Scholar, Tessi created a survey for persons who experienced purity culture (a Christian sexual ethic that uses sexual disgust and fear to encourage abstinence until heterosexual marriage) and developed an interview protocol. Tessi received over 1300 survey responses and has completed 53 interviews.

A McNair Scholar under Dr. Cisco Sánchez, Tessi led Counseling Psych graduate students in a qualitative analysis of interviews with queer women and presented research at the A&S Undergraduate Research Forum, McNair conference, and American Psychological Association (APA)’s conference. In the A&S Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program, Tessi led grad students from Mizzou and Ohio in performing statistical analysis of the survey data which she presented at the National Multicultural Conference and Summit. Tessi has also presented papers on her research at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s Annual Meeting in Oregon, and the Religion and Sexual Abuse conference in California. Deeply committed to academic collaboration, Tessi co-founded an international collective of purity culture researchers who collaborate regularly.

Tessi has done research for Religious Studies Department (funded by Missouri Humanities), presented at the Confluences conference. She joined the Deaton Scholars program, leads Religious Studies Club, participates in Four Directions Indigenous students’ organization, and is earning both Honors and Multicultural Certificates. She studied abroad at the Social Justice program in Costa Rica and will continue her education this fall as Counseling Psychology doctoral student at Mizzou. Tessi next presents her research at the APA conference in Minnesota.

Caleb Ridings profile picture

Caleb Ridings

Caleb a senior studying philosophy and linguistics, who will graduate with an honors and multicultural certificate. Caleb is currently finishing his honors thesis on the coordination and conjunction system of the Bukusu language in Western Kenya. This project began as a capstone course for his linguistics Field Methods class and was extended via URCAMP funding through Summer 2021. This project coincides with work performed with the ASH Scholars Documenting Luyia: Together research group, Caleb has been part of since his freshman year. With this team, Caleb has presented at the undergraduate research fair all three years, getting an honorable mention for his abstract in Spring 2020. Outside of linguistics, Caleb spearheaded the revitalization of the Washington Society at Mizzou, serving as chairman since 2020. He also helped start the Mizzou Swahili Club, serving as its President through 2021. He has served and interacted with the Christian Campus House since Freshman year. In Summer 2021, Caleb worked as the lead intern for the Bishop Davidson for Missouri campaign in Springfield. The following summer he was invited to attend an honors seminar in Williamsburg, Virginia, put on by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. After graduation, Caleb will attend Regent Law School in Virginia Beach in pursuit of a career in international law.

Caleb Sewell profile picture

Caleb Sewell

Dr. Cornel West states, “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” This quote sticks with Sewell because he is someone who has a passion for justice and a radical vision about equity. Along similar lines of Dr. West, he never wants others to forget that love looks like equity and value in institutional spaces. Caleb Sewell is a senior at the University of Missouri-Columbia, double majoring in Educational Studies and Black Studies. At the university, he has held various leadership positions. Most recently, Sewell served as the President of the Legion of Black Collegians, the first and only Black Student Government in the country. He is the Teaching Assistant for the award-winning program: Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative and the Vice Polaris for the Beta Tau chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. Sewell is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar where he completed research on the value gap, the belief that white people are valued more than others, in higher education with his McNair mentor Dr. Stephen Graves. He is also an undergraduate member of the Williams Research Group where he works under Dr. Michael Steven Williams and Dr. Marjorie Dorimé-Williams to look at issues in higher education. Sewell was the 2020 recipient of the Mizzou NAACP Medgar Evers Political Achievement Award. He also spent time as a Residential Advisor, student assistant at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, Summer Welcome Leader, and has presented research at national conferences. He aspires to earn a Ph.D. and join the professoriate to support equity in postsecondary education.

Harjeev Singh profile picture

Harjeev Singh

Harjeev Singh is a Sophomore from St. Louis, Missouri, majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Psychology. He has been highly involved in research on campus. At the end of his freshman year, he joined the Thompson Laboratory for Regenerative Orthopaedics (TLRO). Harjeev’s work in the TLRO has been focused on researching osteoarthritis by assessing radiographic grading systems and biomarkers of the disease. His research led to a poster presentation at the Health Sciences Research Day in the fall of 2021. In the summer, Harjeev will continue his research with the TLRO as part of the Cherng Summer Scholars program. Harjeev has also served the community as a volunteer with a variety of organizations. He has transported patients at the Truman VA, visited hospice patients, helped run the MedZou Community Health Clinic, took care of children with the Rainbow House Children’s Emergency Shelter, and stocked supplies at the food bank. Moreover, Harjeev founded the organization Helping Hands in the spring of his freshman year. As the president of Helping Hands, he has helped facilitate opportunities for students to volunteer and support organizations aiding the homeless population in Columbia. On campus, he is leading an initiative to support financially strained students by making course materials more accessible. With his leadership, Harjeev has organized a school supply and textbook drive that Helping Hands will be hosting on campus in May. After he graduates, Harjeev plans to pursue a career in the medical field.

Makenna Tourville profile picture

Makenna Tourville

Makenna Tourville is a Junior from Ozark, Missouri, majoring in Textile and Apparel Management and minoring in Business. She transferred to the University of Missouri in Spring 2021 and has been involved in the Textile and Apparel Management Department since then. As a junior, Makenna conducted research under Dr. Zhao and Dr. McBee-Black for the Cotton Inc. Project, where she analyzed social media trends relating to sustainable cotton in the fashion industry. This undergraduate research led to Makenna taking on the role of Peer Mentor for the TAM Department, providing TAM students with academic, career, and community guidance. Makenna was able to attend New York Fashion Week in the Fall. Through this experience, Makenna’s passion for the fashion industry grew, leading her to study abroad in one of the fashion capitals, Paris, France. During this time, Makenna had the opportunity to intern for the French luxury brand, VICTORIA/TOMAS where they had a physical show during Paris Fashion Week. Since her time at Mizzou, Makenna has been an active member of Little Sisters of the Gold Rose, a service sorority. After graduation, Makenna intends to pursue a career within the fashion industry.

Lillian Williams profile picture

Lillian Williams

Lillian Williams is a junior honors student from Wichita, Kansas, majoring in Public History and Constitutional Democracy and minoring in Political Science. She started as an undergraduate research assistant for the The Haskell Monroe Collection Project in fall of 2021. She orally presented her research findings titled “Prejudice and Power: The United States’ Federal Civil War Pension System’s Discriminatory Bureaucratic Processes” at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum. This research will be published in an article for the undergraduate Journal on Constitutional Democracy and in an online exhibit for The Haskell Monroe Collection Project. Williams was selected as a 2021-2022 Kinder Undergraduate fellow and a summer 2022 Kinder Scholar. She has completed internships with the Missouri State Historical Society and the Missouri Supreme Court. At Mizzou, she serves as the President of the Undergraduate Historical Society and previously served as the vice president and secretary. For her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, she served as the archivist and Vice President Administration on the Executive Board, both positions dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of her chapter. Each year she volunteers her time to judge for National History Day in Missouri. She also volunteers weekly at Tiger Pantry. As a freshman, she was selected as one of Omicron Delta Kappa’s top fourteen freshmen. This summer, Williams plans to intern with the National Endowment for the Humanities in the Congressional Affairs office.

Lauryn Williams profile picture

Lauryn Williams

Lauryn Williams is a senior double major in Physics and Mathematics. She has a love for astrophysics and wants to pursue a career in research and outreach. As a freshman, she joined MU’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) which helped her get started studying galaxy morphology and evolution under Dr. Yicheng Guo. She has had the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Colorado – Boulder and the American Museum of Natural History, thus getting the opportunity to present results at various national conferences as well as co-authorship on two publications during her undergraduate career. Lauryn has been involved in various service and academic orgs on campus such as STRIPES and the MARC/IMSD research program. She has been a Peer Mentor within the MARC/IMSD program for almost two years, mentoring 8 undergraduate students to help them get started with their research careers. She is passionate in her role as a Peer Mentor and is looking forward to engaging in outreach focusing on underrepresented minorities in graduate school. In 2022, Lauryn was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP) and will attend the University of Washington to pursue her Ph.D. in Astronomy studying massive stars.