SPUR Awards

SPUR Best Article Honorees for Volume 6

Congratulations to the honorees in the Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Best Article Awards (volume 6).

Best Article

Benefiting Historically Excluded Student Populations Through Targeted Undergraduate Research Programming

Jaclyn Chastain, Santiago Luaces, Melodie Eichbauer, Charles Gunnels

SPUR, vol 6, no 3 Spring 2023.
DOI: 10.18833/spur/6/3/5

The article selected as the Best Paper for the 2022-2023 publication year stands out for its meticulous evaluation of the WiSER program’s impact on historically excluded students. It scrutinizes two pivotal hypotheses: the program’s support for traditionally excluded students and its influence on academic performance, particularly GPA and credit hours. Its rigorous methodology sets this paper apart, comparing WiSER participants with a matched control group from the general student population, ensuring a robust analysis. Moreover, the study’s examination of time-to-graduation further underscores its comprehensive approach. The article’s empirical depth, precision, and direct relevance to student success stand out in academic research.

Honorable Mention

The Genomics Education Partnership: First Findings on Genomics Research in Community Colleges

Paula Croonquist, Virginia Falkenberg, Natalie Minkovsky, Alexa Sawa, Matthew Skerritt, Maire Sustacek, Raffaella Diotti, Anthony Aragon, Tamara Mans, Goldie Sherr, Catherine Ward, Monica Hall-Woods, Anya Goodman, Laura Reed, David Lopatto

SPUR, vol 6, no. 3 Spring 2023.
DOI: 10.18833/spur/6/3/1

This article selected as an Honorable Mention for the 2022-2023 publication year, offers valuable insights into the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP) and its expansion into community colleges (CCs). The study’s focus on enhancing research opportunities for underrepresented students is commendable, particularly in the context of limited research capacity and budget constraints at two-year institutions. The findings reveal that CC students’ gains are on par with their non-CC counterparts, showcasing improved attitudes toward science and thriving in the field. The article’s contribution lies in demonstrating how the GEP model effectively supports CC students, providing a blueprint for mitigating research barriers in this educational setting.


In making its decision, the SPUR Best Article subcommittee of the SPUR Editorial Board considered excellence concerning the journal’s evaluation criteria, specifically

  • Excellence concerning the journal’s evaluation criteria, specifically, “manuscripts that describe novel programs that can serve as models for other institutions, those containing a significant assessment of outcomes, and those articulating research on the efficacy of undergraduate research programs;
  • Timeliness (addressing current issues in undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity) and/or timelessness (articles likely to prove valuable over time);
  • Broad appeal in terms of generalizability to disciplines and types of institutions; and
  • Pedagogical value.

The members of the Best Paper Award Committee for volume 6 were Editorial Advisory Board Members Kymberly Harris, Hasitha Mahabaduge, Niharika Nath, and Aaron Sakulich.


SPUR advances knowledge and understanding of novel and effective approaches to mentored undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry by publishing high-quality, rigorously peer reviewed studies written by scholars and practitioners of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry. The SPUR Journal is a leading CUR member benefit. Gain access to all electronic articles by joining CUR.