The Leatherby Libraries is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Kevin and Tam Ross Undergraduate Research Prize. In its 15th year, we received a variety of applications in disciplines such as biological sciences, political science, film studies, literature, French studies, peace studies, and integrated educational studies.

Below, learn more about each winning project, including statements from the winners and links to read the winning entries from our institutional repository, the Chapman University Digital Commons.

URP WinnersAward winners with Chapman University administrators, faculty and librarians. Photo Credit: David Sprouse.

First Place: Myra Dayrit

Myra, a sophomore wrote her paper based off of her individual research project, titled Understanding the Filipino/a/x American Experience in Higher Education.

“I am so honored to have received this research prize. As a first-generation college student, I have been working my hardest each semester with a full load of classes, internships, multiple jobs, and
working on my research agenda. Receiving this honor and the cash prize will benefit both my current financial situation and future career, as I intend to continue on a Ph.D. program and become a professor. I am fortunate to have such supportive faculty and Chapman’s Center of Undergraduate Excellence offering me resources to excel in my research career. Research has offered me a space to gain clarity and healing about my life and family. I hope that through my work, I am able to inspire and support future Filipino/a/x Americans in their higher education journeys.”

Myra Dayrit

Second Place: Olivia Anderson

Olivia, a junior, submitted her paper on Integration and Assimilation: The Experience of Algerian Descendants in French Society.

“I was honored to receive the Kevin and Tam Ross Undergraduate Research Prize after my semester’s work on my French capstone. This project is the beginning of my research, and I’m excited to see where it will take me in the future. Thank you to Dr. Olivier, who helped me throughout the process of writing this paper, and to Leatherby Libraries for their support and assistance as well.”

URP Award Winner 2023

Olivia Anderson


Third Place: Izzy Dhindsa

Izzy, a senior, submitted her paper Using the Scientific Method to Combat the Biological and Sociological Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Aspiring Healthcare Professional’s Perspective.

“I am truly honored to win the Kevin and Tam Ross Undergraduate Research Prize as the Leatherby Libraries have provided me with the resources that have allowed me to grow as a scientist and a global citizen. They have provided me with data that I required for my research studies as well as sources that have helped me learn and understand other people’s perspectives, so I can create my own judgments about the world around me and empathize with others— all skills necessary for my future in healthcare.”

URP Award Winner 2023

Izzy Dhindsa


Kevin Ross, Dean of the Leatherby Libraries and donor supporting this prize, wrote about his and his wife’s decision to fund the Undergraduate Research Prize: “My wife Tam and I decided to fund this prize for the following two reasons:

First, both of us believe in the importance of being information literate. Information literacy is important for students conducting useful and relevant research that informs both the public and the academic community, and is crucial to the success of any university. This Undergraduate Research Prize provides our students an opportunity to showcase their research abilities by connecting their own individual research interests with our outstanding librarians and abundance of library resources.

Second, becoming information literate is even more important in this information age as our students begin their journey and enter their chosen professions. The Leatherby Libraries is proud to be a part of this process.”

The selection committee included the following faculty members and librarians:

We would like to thank all of the applicants to this year’s Kevin and Tam Ross Undergraduate Research Prize and give thanks to the faculty and librarians who gave their time and effort to help select the winning applicants.