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Undergraduate researcher wins new KU award

Fri, 05/07/2021

LAWRENCE — Jade Groobman, a senior from Boulder, Colorado, has been awarded the first Courtwright Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence through the University of Kansas Center for Undergraduate Research. Groobman is majoring in women, gender & sexuality studies. Her mentor is Sarah Deer, University Distinguished Professor.

Jade GroobmanGroobman’s undergraduate research project explores the experiences of Jews of color in Jewish spaces. Through semi-structured interviews and engagement with existing research, Groobman aims to better understand how both Jews of color and white Jews understand racism in Jewish spaces and what can be done to create antiracist Jewish communities. The public can view a presentation about Groobman’s research on the Undergraduate Research Symposium website.

The Courtwright Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence was established last year through the contributions of David (Class of 1974) and Chris Courtwright (Class of 1983). The Courtwright Award seeks to recognize undergraduate students with majors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences whose research and creative work stand to make meaningful contributions to their fields of study. Groobman will receive $500 in addition to the $1,000 Undergraduate Research Award that she received this spring.

“KU undergraduates do amazing research in numerous fields across the university,” said Alison Olcott, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. “We are so grateful that the Courtwrights recognize that undergraduate research is a formative experience for a student, and that their generosity allows us to recognize some of the transformative work done by our students.”

Courtwright Award finalists are selected from applications for the Undergraduate Research Awards each semester. Along with Groobman, here are the other finalists for the Courtwright Award for spring 2021:

  • Saron Demeke, “Change in Hyper-Palatable Food Prevalence in US Food Environment over 30 Years,” mentored by Tera Fazzino, assistant professor of psychology
  • Laura Phillips, “Drought Tolerance on B73 Maize in Response to Microbiome Inoculations,” mentored by Maggie Wagner, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology
  • Katherine Price, “The Everyday Negotiation of Citizenship in the French Empire,” mentored by Andrew Denning, associate professor of history.

The awards are funded through KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.



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