1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Kaliramesh Siliveru and Emily Tolbert receive K-State research and mentoring awards

K-State Today

May 1, 2024

Kaliramesh Siliveru and Emily Tolbert receive K-State research and mentoring awards

Submitted by Division of Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University is recognizing Kaliramesh Siliveru, associate professor of grain science and industry, left, and Emily Tolbert, junior in microbiology, for excellence in research and mentoring.

Kansas State University is recognizing two for excellence in research and mentoring. 

Kaliramesh Siliveru, associate professor of grain science and industry, is the recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentoring of Undergraduate Students in Research; and Emily Tolbert, junior in microbiology, Newton, is the recipient of the University Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Student in Research. 

Siliveru and Tolbert will be honored at the All-University Awards Ceremony from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in the K-State Alumni Center Banquet Room.

Since Siliveru joined the grain science and industry department in 2018, he has established an active undergraduate and graduate research program in the areas of grain processing, grain safety and process modeling. He has mentored 36 undergraduate students, 11 graduate students and five postdoctoral fellows in research. 

"I am thankful to have the opportunity to mentor these students at Kansas State University," Siliveru said. "I have a strong commitment to training the next generation of scholars in research, and it is important to me to be actively involved in advising them in their research and academic journeys."

He teaches undergraduate courses that emphasize developing students' capabilities for effective learning, problem solving and creativity. He also serves as a partner for the K-State Research and Extension Summer Research Fellowship program. 

Siliveru has obtained $3.2 million in competitive grants and has dedicated funding for undergraduate students in research. He is the recipient of the various awards in the department, college, university, national and international levels. Some of his awards include the 2021 Early Career Engineer of the Year of ASABE, The Andersons Early-in-Career Award of Excellence from the U.S. Quality Grains Research Consortium, and the Gamma Sigma Delta Early Career Award. He also received the 2023 Graduate Faculty Mentor Award and 2024 Dr. Susan Ariola Bosco Putting Students First Faculty Award. He serves as the advisor for the Grain Science Graduate Students Organization and created an undergraduate research showcase as part of the organization's symposium.

He received his doctorate in grain science from K-State in 2016. 

Tolbert is an undergraduate researcher in the Wallace Lab with Nicholas Wallace, associate professor of biology. She is studying whether cutaneous human papillomavirus infection can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer development. In her time working in the lab, Tolbert has led two research projects that will translate into first-author publications, and the results have been included in grant proposals. 

Tolbert's research activities in and beyond the classroom show that she sees herself as a current and future member of the research community. 

"I'm incredibly grateful to receive this honor," Tolbert said. "My undergraduate research experience has allowed me to add to our understanding of cancer development and build skills that will help me be successful in graduate school." 

At K-State, Tolbert has been involved in the Willow Lake Student Farm Club, Johnson Cancer Research Center, the Kansas IDEA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Ambassadors, Developing Scholars Program and University Honors Program.

She has received several honors and awards for her research, including an honorable mention oral presentation award at the annual K-INBRE symposium, two  Johnson Cancer Research Center Awards, Mark Chapman Scholars Program Award, Developing Scholars Program Promise Award, was named a K-State nominee for the Goldwater scholarship, K-INBRE Star Trainee award, and Division of Biology Most Promising Student Award.