April ’24 Awards & Recognitions

Photo Courtesy of Levi Sim/USU.

Student Recognitions

Congrats to Our Spring & Summer Grads!


Brian Hobbs

Kobe Davis

Luke Andersen

Forrest Nichols

Jaron Bono

Chase Mortensen

Isaac Abram

Allan Lyon

Mason Francis

Alvaro Garcia

Nalen Stephens


Maanav Choubey

Aashay Maheshwarkar

Conner Deppe

Conner Saben


Xiang Ma

Ricardo Chahine

Yuetao Hou

Matthew J. Hansen

If there are graduates not listed, they did not get logged in the database at aspire.usu.edu. Advisors must send in their reports for graduated students, internships, publications, etc. Any names added after the newsletter is published will be included in our July newsletter!

USU’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year: Tyler Rich!

USU Professor Antje Graul received the  Faculty Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. She stands with her student, Tyler Rich, while they hold their awards following the faculty awards ceremony in Logan, Utah.
Congratulations to ASPIRE student Tyler Rich — who received the college’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year award! Also, kudos to USU Professor Antje Graul, who was Tyler’s mentor and received the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

Faculty Recognitions

Utah State University Faculty Awards 2024

The recipients of USU's 2024 Faculty Awards — including ASPIRE's Angela Minichiello, Pedram Jahangiry, Ryan Berke, and Rose Qingyang Hu — pose for a photo following the ceremony.
Several ASPIRE faculty members were honored at Utah State University’s fourth annual faculty awards ceremony on March 28 (Photo courtesy of Utah State University/UST).

Shoutout to Angela Minichiello, Pedram Jahangiry, Ryan Berke, and Rose Qingyang Hu! They received the following awards:

Outstanding Graduate Mentor of the Year: Angela Minichiello

  • An associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education and NSF CAREER award recipient, Angie has mentored nearly 30 graduate students as their faculty adviser/major professor or supervising committee member. Her students have received numerous awards in both research and teaching at the national, university, college and department levels. In addition, her students have co-authored more than three dozen journal and conference proceedings papers with her and have made more than 50 presentations at professional conferences and events.

Eldon J. Gardner Teacher of the Year Award: Pedram Jahangiry

  • Pedram, a professional practice assistant professor in the Data Analytics and Information Systems Department, enhances the student experience by incorporating artificial intelligence technologies into his courses. Integrating cutting-edge technology provides more opportunities for his students to prepare for post-college life. He also mentors students in real-world collaborations with companies. By prioritizing one-on-one check-ins, Pedram ensures students feel supported and heard. He transitioned to academia after working in a research associate position at BlackRock NYC’s Financial Modeling Group.

Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award: Ryan Berke

  • Ryan is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Since 2015, Ryan has advised 75 undergraduates who have collectively contributed to more than 100 scholarly papers, technical presentations and poster sessions. More than half of his graduating students have gone on to earn advanced degrees. Under his leadership, the Engineering Undergraduate Research Scholars program has doubled in size, as has the rate of women and nonbinary students in the program. Berke also represents the College of Engineering on USU’s Undergraduate Research Advisory Board and is the Goldwater Scholarship Faculty Mentor.

D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award: Rose Qingyang Hu

  • A professor and associate dean for research in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Rose is internationally known for her work in 4G and 5G wireless network design, modeling and performance evaluation, and technology standardization. Her distinguished research career encompasses 15 years of academic research and teaching, coupled with a decade of industrial research and development. She has consistently addressed the foremost research challenges in 4G and 5G wireless communication and networks, as well as distributed collaborative AI and machine learning within 5G networks.

Additional Shoutouts:

Antje Graul (above) was also nominated for the university-level award for Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year as she was the selected for the award at the college-level; Nicholas Roberts — who received the College of Engineering’s Service Award — was a nominee for the University Faculty Service Award; and Greg Droge was nominated for the Faculty Researcher of the Year award.

Purdue University’s Sivanjani Seetharaman Named Among MIT’s 35 Under 35

Sivaranjani "Siva" Seetharaman poses for a portrait outdoors.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate Assistant Professor Siva Seetharaman’s stellar achievement in the Climate and Energy sector! She was named one of the MIT Technical Review’s “35 Under 35”!

Our grids are facing some serious challenges with the rise of renewables, electric vehicles, and unpredictable weather. But Siva is developing tools to keep our grids running smoothly in the face of these obstacles. From modeling how our systems respond to extreme weather to training algorithms to manage dynamic energy demands, she’s paving the way for a more reliable and resilient energy future. Huge congrats to Dr. Seetharaman for her groundbreaking work!