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Undergraduate Research Awards

2024 Russell Award Winner - Dania Abou-Jabal

Lonnie Russell Undergraduate Research Award

Established in honor of Dr. Lonnie D. Russell (1944-2001). Lonnie Russell received his B.S. in zoology from the University of Tulsa in 1967, followed by an M.S. in medical sciences from the University of Oklahoma in 1969. That year, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a captain and was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. He received a Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Nebraska in 1974, and subsequently moved to McGill University where he worked with Dr. Yves Clermont, the founder of the modern quantitative analysis of mammalian spermatogenesis. He held faculty positions at McGill University and the University of Miami, before joining the Department of Physiology at SIU School of Medicine-Carbondale in 1978. He achieved the rank of professor in 1982. He was an accomplished educator: 14 students completed studies for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees under his guidance, and many others received pre- or post-doctoral training in his laboratory. Dr. Russell was an internationally recognized leader in the study of spermatogenesis and was an established authority in the analysis of histopathological evaluation of the testis. He authored numerous books and articles which contributed greatly to the scientific community.

Qualifications - One or two awards (up to $500) will be offered each year to a full time undergraduate student who has conducted research in one of the Department of Physiology research laboratories within the past year. The applicant must fill out the online form or obtain a copy from the Physiology undergraduate advisor Dr. Denise Zaczek. The completed application along with a letter of support from the research advisor should be sent to Dr. Zaczek, Room 151F, LS II, MC 6512. The application deadline is February 1. For information on undergraduate research credits, please refer to PHSL 491,492

List of Winners
2024-Dania Abou-Jabal
2023-Caitlyn Bartsch
2022-Arnold E. Ukagwu
2021-Alana Campbell
2020-Brianna Sexton
2019 - Anna Feliciano
2018 - Allison Whorton
2017 - Elizabeth Geerling
2016 - Hailey Sellek
2015 - Kevin Schrader
2014 - Lacey Gibson
2013 - Brock Kabat
2012 - Jessica Stout
2011 - Emily Seals
2010 - Kelsey Jarrett
2009 - Sean Z. Goodin
2008 - Bryan McConomy, Amanda Rabideau
2007 - Ryan Jones, Sean Goodin
2006 - Sara Reardon

Tommy Yau Undergraduate Award

The Tom M. Yau Undergraduate Award was established by his brother William Yau in remembrance of his untimely passing at the age of 37. In 1965 Tom Yau received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from Southern Illinois University. He was also the recipient of the Illinois Wshington County Award given by Physiology as the most outstanding senior in the program. Although he was accepted at several other universities for graduate work, he chose to stay at SIU for his Master's and Ph.D due to his affinity for the school and the area.

Dr. Yau did his graduate work with Professor Carl Lindegren of whom the Lindegren Hall is named. Tom Yau received his Master's in Genetics and his Ph.D. in Virology, both from Microbiology. He married and moved to Cleveland, Ohio and became a Research Associate at the Cleveland Psychiatric Institute in 1971. In 1974, he joined the faculty of the Radiation Biology Department at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Aside from teaching, Dr. Yau was engaged in prolific cancer research funded by numerous grants. He soon became an Associate Professor at CWRU and in 1980 was named as the Harry H. Pinney scholar for his outstanding research. Tom Yau was also a dynamic and dedicated teacher sought out by the medical students for his elective classes in carcinogenesis. Dr. Tom Yau unexpectedly passed away at the prime of his career in 1981.

Qualifications - One award will be offered to a full time junior and senior undergraduate student enrolled in the Department of Physiology and will be based primarily on overall academic achievement.

2024 Yau Junior Award Winner - Santiago Torres

2024 Yau Senior Award Winner - Alexis Hamon

List of Winners
2024 - Senior - Alexis B. Hamon
2024 - Junior - Santiago Torres
2023 - Senior - Claire Ayers
2023 - Junior - Maddison Truitt
2022 - Senior - Megan B. Saltsgaver
2022- Junior - Hannah K. Gahagan
2021 - Senior - Emily Hamburger
2021- Junior - Ian Marshall
2020 - Senior - Kortni Kempter
2020- Junior - Jaclyn Young
2019 - Senior - Emma Johns
2019 - Junior - Alana Campbell
2018 - Senior - Cody Bailey
2018 - Junior - Isabella Weymer
2017 - Senior - Annamarie Beckmeyer
2017 - Junior - Abigail Hill
2016 - Senior - Alexa Wacker
2016 - Junior - Nima Hashem
2015 - Senior - Lacey Gibson
2015 - Junior - Matthew Baechle
2014 - Senior - Amanda Stubbart
2014 - Junior - Tanner Rehnberg
2013 - Senior - Genna Stodden
2013 - Junior - Lacey Gibson
2012 - Senior: - Christina Nelson
2012 - Junior: - Austen Knapp
2011 - Senior - Emily Seals
2011 - Junior - Caitlin Moliske
2010 - Senior - Samuel Hughes
2010 - Junior - Andrew Bova
2009 - Senior - Bryan McConomy
2009 - Junior - Natalie Reitz
2008 - Senior - Katie Butera
2008 - Junior - Yoseph Berhane
2007 - Senior - Matt Reed
2007 - Junior - Sarah Wells
2006 - Senior - Adam Henson
2006 - Junior - Katie Butera
2005 - Senior - Emily Wallace
2005 - Junior - Adam Henson
2004 - Senior - Jennee Rommel
2004 - Junior - Amanda Harre
2003 - Senior - Joshua Aaron
2003 - Junior - Susanna Clutts

Ferraro Award for Academic Achievement in Physiological Studies

Dr. James S. Ferraro, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Physiology, Department of Physiology, Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine, in honor of his parents Joseph E. and Carol F. Ferraro for their contributions to his education, and unwavering support and love, hereby institutes the Ferraro Award for Academic Achievement in Physiological Studies. This Award may be given annually to an undergraduate, who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in educational pursuit of the Bachelor of Science Major in Physiology.

2024 Ferraro Award Winner Jacelyn Street

2024 - Jacelyn Street
2023 - Cole Blazier
2022 - Claire M. Ayers
2021 - Katlyn Helton
2020 - Micaylen Wolf
2018 - Anna Feliciano
2017 - Cody Bailey
2016 - Annamarie Beckmeyer
2015 - Lacey Gibson


Okuno Family Scholarship

The Okuno Family award is presented to an undergraduate student based on demonstrated laboratory and academic achievement.   Recipient is chosen by the Physiology department chairperson.  May be awarded annually or at the discretion of the Physiology department chairperson.

2020 - Grace Lehnhoff
2019 - Abigayle Ochs
2017 - Javier Hernandez