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K-State Today

May 13, 2022

Johnson Cancer Research Center presents $212,452 in student awards at annual banquet

Submitted by Marcia Locke

Student Hailey Casey with President Richard Linton

The Johnson Cancer Research Center presented student Cancer Research Awards at its annual awards banquet April 22. Travel and heart research award recipients also were recognized at the banquet, along with the donors who made all the awards possible.

Fifty-two awards totaling $212,452 were provided to undergraduate and graduate students this academic year. The awardees performed cancer research in the colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.

The banquet included a poster presentation by undergraduate students. The students created posters to describe their research in everyday language and discussed them with banquet guests, including their donors and family members. Photos of the Cancer Research Awards banquet are in an album on Facebook.

Undergraduate Cancer Research Awards provide faculty-mentored research training and $1,500 to each student. Faculty mentors also receive $1,000 per student for research expenses. Graduate Cancer Research Awards, which were $7,500 each this year, primarily support research during the summer, when students may not receive other funding.

Heart Research Awards, which were $4,826 each this year, support graduate student research on heart development, function or disease. Travel awards, which ranged from $200 to $550 this year, help students travel to present their research at scientific meetings.

The following list includes Undergraduate Cancer Research Awardees, listed by the department in which they performed the research.

Anatomy and physiology
• Grace Calo, Justin Shum Award; mentor: Masaaki Tamura.
• Morgan Phillips, Joanne L. Reeves Award; mentor: Masaaki Tamura.

Biochemistry and molecular biophysics
• Carson Gido, Karen Eileen (Jones) Prevette Award; mentor: Brian Geisbrecht.
• Taryn Lubbers, Maj. Gen. Harvey McCarter, USAFR, Family Award; mentor: John Tomich.
• Hannah Miller, Gwendolyn Tinklin Award; mentor: Om Prakash.

• Kennedy Ayre, Gailand Bartlett Award; mentor: Ruth Welti.
• Ashlyn Bugbee, Rob Regier Award; mentor: Kalyani Payaram.
• Taylor Bugbee, Jerome D. Lueers Award; mentor: Nick Wallace.
• Hailey Casey, Regenia Hudiburg Award; mentor: Katsura Asano.
• Emily Cranwell, George S. Bascom Award; mentor: Thomas Mueller.
• Lucy Fischer, Wayne and Nancy Cottril Award; mentor: Govind Veddiyappan.
• Mikaela Garcia-Escamilla, Gailand Bartlett Award; mentor: Thomas Mueller.
• Davanté Hammer, Lori Kautzman Family Award; mentor: Sherry Fleming.
• Caleb Kutz, Michael F. Lukert Award; mentor: Jocelyn McDonald.
• Hieu Nguyen, Lee S. and Selma Fent Award; mentor: Kathrin Schrick.
• Ashley Panagakis, Fraternal Order of Eagles Award; mentor: Kathrin Schrick.
• Abigail Parker, Margaret Ruth Hannah Award; mentor: Ruth Welti.
• Claire Richardson, Beth Montelone Family Award; mentor: Jocelyn McDonald.
• Mia Thompson, Ken and Rosemary Visser Award; mentor: Sherry Fleming.

• Mae Cook, Skylar Thompson Family Award; mentor: Duy Hua.
• Kaden Creamer, Helen L. Graves Award; mentor: Ping Li.
• Jane Eilers, John N. and Jenny M. Haymaker Award; mentor: Christer Aakeroy.
• Qiling Zeng, Dale Augustine Award; mentor: Ping Li.

• Louie Cabrera, Margaret "Midge" Jones Award; mentor: Heather McCrea.

• Indera Coffel, Kansas American Legion Award; mentor: Shay Logan.

Plant pathology
• Daniel Tran, Roy and Catherine Johnson Award; mentor: Richard Todd.

The following list includes Graduate Cancer Research Awardees, listed by the department in which they performed the research.

Biochemistry and molecular biophysics
• Hannah Miller, Rob Regier Award; mentor: Om Prakash.

• Emily Burghardt, Zelma Miller Award; mentor: Jocelyn McDonald.
• Debolina Dasgupta, Dr. and Mrs. Neal Morehouse Award; mentor: Kalyani Pyaram.
• Peter Hodoameda, Sarah Young and Alexander Tung Award; mentor: Rollie Clem.
• Tshegofatso Ngwaga, Eldora Thompson Award; mentor: Stephanie Shames.
• Chinemerem Onah, Clarice M. Painter Award; mentor: Pankaj Baral.
• Anuja Paudyal, Varena Mechsner Award; mentor: Govind Vediyappan.
• Tanner Richie, Charles and Doris Setterquist Award; mentor: Sonny Lee.
• Bibek Subedi, Minnis and Helen Nelson Award; mentor: Kathrin Schrick.

• Chao An, Marvel Bailey Vendig and Ann Mitchell Vendig Award; mentor: Ping Li.
• Viraj De Silva, Brad Heyka and Marvin and Myrtle Jones Award; mentor: Christer Aakeroy.
• Bingun Habarakadage, Gladys Hoerman Llewelyn Award; mentor: Jun Li.
• Abigail Kreznor, Phil and Margaret Howe Award; mentor: Chris Culbertson.
• Shashika Perera, Jim and Kathy Haymaker Award; mentor: Ryan Rafferty.

• Stephen Hammond, Warren White and Dr. John Massey Award; mentor: Carl Ade.
• Olivia Kunkel, Skylar Thompson Family Award; mentor: Brad Behnke.

Mechanical and nuclear engineering
• Kuan-Lun Ho, Elena Guthals and Polyester Party Award; mentor: Shih-Kang Fan.

Plant pathology
• Joel Steyer, Don Marrs and Kansas Postmasters Award; mentor: Richard Todd.

The following list includes Heart Research Awardees.

• Stephen Hammond, Helen L. Graves Award; mentor: Carl Ade.
• Olivia Kunkel, Olivia (Ferguson) Rogers Award; mentor: Brad Behnke.

The following list includes Travel Awardees, listed by the department in which they performed the research.

Biochemistry and molecular biophysics
• Carson Gido, Brian Geisbrecht Lab.
• Yungui Guo, Erika Geisbrecht Lab.
• Ziwei Zhao, Erika Geisbrecht Lab.

• Alexis Carpenter, Rollie Clem Lab.
• Peter Hodoameda, Rollie Clem Lab.

• Olivia Kunkel, Brad Behnke Lab.

The Johnson Cancer Research Center, in the College of Arts and Sciences, supports the cancer research and training of its faculty members and undergraduate and graduate students. Student awardees and their mentors and project titles are listed on the center's Student Award Recipients page. All programs are funded through private donations.