Undergraduate Research Ambassadors

Undergraduate Research Ambassadors (URAs) are peer ambassadors with experience navigating research at Mines. In addition to hosting and attending events pertaining to undergraduate research, they serve as in invaluable resource to current and prospective students interested in conducting undergraduate research at Mines.

meet our ambassadors!

emmelia ashton: metallurgical & materials engineering; biology
URA Cohort: 2022-2023, 2023-2024

Emmelia Ashton is a senior studying Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and has been involved in research since her first year. She works as a member of Dr. Terry Lowe’s Transdisciplinary Nanostructured Materials Research Team. During this time, she was part of the FIRST and SURF programs, and works to research medical device metals, sustainable magnets, and investigates material properties for industry sponsors. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school and earn a Ph.D. in the field so she can further pursue research related to nanoscale biomaterials.

Have a question? Send Emmelia a message here.

Claire nelson: Chemistry
URA Cohort: 2023-2024

Claire Nelson is a senior in Chemistry. With her diverse background in materials engineering and chemistry, Claire has found a home in polymer chemistry research. She is currently researching with Dr. Ramya Kumar in the Chemical & Biological Engineering department focusing on synthesizing novel polymer architectures to be used as delivery vehicles for therapeutic nucleic acids for genetic engineering. More specifically, her current project is investigating the use of surface-initiated cationic brush polymers for increasing drug loading and transfection efficacy. She hopes to further study either polymer chemistry or polymer physics by pursuing a PhD in chemistry or materials science. When not in the lab, you can find her experimenting with new dessert recipes, rock climbing, skiing, playing video games, or playing French horn and piano.

Have a question? Send Claire a message here.




Jesutomisin "Praise" Olusoji: Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering
URA Cohort: 2022-2023, 2023-2024

Praise Olusoji is a senior majoring in Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering. She has been involved in research since her sophomore year, starting in Dr. Melissa Krebs’s research group to develop alginate/chitosan hydrogels that can control the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells in growth plate injuries. She also worked at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus under Dr. Kristin Artinger where she studied the genetic interaction between prdm3 and bcl9 in Zebrafish craniofacial development. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school to get her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology so she can pursue translational research.

Have a question? Send Praise a message here.

“As a URA, I have been able to share my love for research with others. Whether by advising on how to get started with undergrad research, or by explaining what I do in the lab, I get to engage with students, and this gives me a sense of satisfaction from what I do.”

Praise Olusoji

Click the Image below to Meet Our Previous URAs!

“As a URA, I have had the opportunity to share my passion for research and help other students become involved in research on campus. I have enjoyed working with other student researchers to make undergraduate research more accessible and the opportunity to engage with the Mines campus.”

Emmelia Ashton

“Being a URA allowed me to help connect countless students with new research opportunities at both Mines and other institutions. It was also an opportunity to become more involved with other on-campus organizations and meet like-minded students who are also pursuing similar programs.”

Max Garza



Undergraduate Research Ambassadors are privy to networking opportunities with peers, faculty, and staff at Mines as well as with other nationally recognized undergraduate research programs.


gain professional skills

Being an Undergraduate Research Ambassadors reflects highly upon participants and gives students the opportunity to cultivate their educational and professional goals.


Undergraduate Research Ambassadors are eligible to receive a travel grant to present at conferences throughout the United States. Attending conferences is an invaluable experience for any researcher.



  • Have at least two semesters of undergraduate research experience.
  • Be graduating in spring 2024 or later.
  • Have maintained a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Possess outstanding oral communication skills.
  • Be able to enthusiastically describe your undergraduate research to a general audience.
  • Be willing to serve as a source of information about the various undergraduate research opportunities at Mines.
  • Be willing to attend trainings and regular meetings.
  • An enthusiastic willingness to help facilitate the Undergraduate Research Scholars Student Organization (URSSO). For more information on URSSO, please read the toggle labeled, “URSSO: A URA’S ROLE”.
  • Attend regular group meetings. These meetings usually take place once every two weeks.
  • Participate in up to 10 hours of flexibly scheduled activities per semester – including facilitating workshops, advising students, participating in undergraduate research programs, and making presentations to classes and student organizations.
  • Maintain professionalism, interpersonal skills, and technical skills.
  • Please review the eligibility requirements and expectations mentioned above.
  • Gather required information and documents, including your resume/CV.
  • The application deadline is rolling but is usually updated on an annual academic year basis. Thus, it is best to submit an application around January (for spring) or July (for fall). You will be notified before the beginning of the fall semester and/or spring semester regarding your application status and the next steps.

The Undergraduate Research Student Organization was founded in 2020 by the 2019-2020 URA cohort. URSSO is a student lead organization intended to connect students interested in research with peers currently conducting undergraduate research at Mines. Anyone interested in research can join the organization. Annually, URSSO attends and hosts events related to undergraduate research.

Though student officer positions are elected, URAs often function as peer leaders for URSSO. In order to be a URA, you must be willing to participate and help in the growth of Undergraduate Research Scholars Student Organization.

For more information and/or to join URSSO, please visit our Engage webpage: https://mines.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/undergraduate-research-scholars