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Bioengineering professor receives award for student mentoring

Author: Imran Ghori
August 12, 2020

Huinan Liu, an associate professor of bioengineering, is the 2019-20 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement.

The award is presented at the end of each academic year to faculty members with a distinguished record of fostering undergraduate research or creative activity. The selection is ratified by the Academic Senate.

Huinan Liu
Huinan Liu

Liu, a faculty member at the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, was praised as a mentor by students who nominated her, according to an Academic Senate report.

Liu has mentored 132 undergraduate students, resulting in 50 journal publications authored or co-authored by her students. They have also won over 20 research internships, fellowships, or other awards. More than 70% of her undergraduate researchers pursued graduate or medical school.

Over 70% of her researchers are underrepresented minorities, economically disadvantaged, or first-generation.
In a nomination letter, one of the students praised Liu for creating a “safe learning environment.”

“The lab’s atmosphere allowed for students to learn and ask questions without fearing much criticism from her or the graduate students,” the student said. “Dr. Liu gave me a chance and provided the experience I needed to enter the world of academic research.”

The award includes $1,000 for Liu to be used as a summer salary or research support. A trophy will be presented at a later time.