FURCA Awards

FURCA celebrates the talents of U of A students, providing a place for the sharing of ideas between students, faculty, and the broader community.

Each year, awards are given in several categories. As all awards are sponsor or donor-funded, the value & number of awards may vary each year depending on funding availability and the pool of eligible presenters.

General Awards

All presenters are automatically considered for the following awards.

Outstanding Communication
Recognizes students who are best able to communicate the results and impact of their research to an interdisciplinary audience. Note, this award is given out in each category of presentation (e.g. best poster, best oral presentation, etc.). Sponsored by the Students' Union and the Faculty of Science. 
Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research

Recognizes outstanding interdisciplinary research. The interdisciplinary aspects of the project may include (but are not limited to):

  • The student is doing research outside of his/her own discipline
  • The research makes effective use of interdisciplinary methods
  • The outcomes of the research are interdisciplinary in scope

Students must be able to clearly explain the interdisciplinary aspects of their project to the judges. Sponsored by the Faculty of Science.

Special Categories

To be considered for these awards, students must meet specific eligibility criteria. Students indicate their eligibility at the time of abstract submission.

Outstanding Creative Activity
Recognizes outstanding research in an artistic discipline, which includes one or a combination of: design, creative writing, visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles), performing arts (dance, music, theatre), film, video, interdisciplinary arts, media and electronic arts, and new artistic practices. Note that students from any discipline are eligible for this award, provided their work qualifies as a creative activity. Sponsored by the Faculty of Arts.
Outstanding "Early Career" Research
Recognizes a 1st or 2nd year student for outstanding research undertaken during his or her first year of study. Note: First year students presenting work completed in high school are also eligible for this award. Sponsored by the Faculty of Science. 
Outstanding International Research
Recognizes outstanding research performed outside of Canada (e.g. international field work, research-abroad experiences, etc.). Sponsored by University of Alberta International. 
Outstanding International Student Researcher
Recognizes outstanding research performed by an international student at the U of A. Sponsored by University of Alberta International. 
Outstanding Sustainability Research
The Sustainability Council is proud to recognize the top undergraduate researchers who are building a better world. The winning projects demonstrate an integrated approach that considers human and environmental factors in the challenges we face and the solutions we need. A panel convened by the Sustainability Council selects the top projects within this field for the award.

FURCA 2020 Award Winners

Outstanding Sustainability Research

P14. Understanding Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Urban Canada 
Presenter: Freya Hammond-Thrasher (Faculty of Arts) 
Award Sponsor: University of Alberta Sustainability Council

From the Sustainability Council: 
"The Sustainability Council will be awarding Freya Hammond-Thrasher with FURCA's Sustainability Award. We were impressed with Freya's commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to address food insecurity in Indigenous communities. Her research also disrupts and questions the conventional understanding of food security and urban food sovereignty, with deeper exploration of divergent perspectives and decolonial approaches. This project has the potential to empower Indigenous communities by focusing on youth re-skilling workshops and supporting Indigenous-led initiatives on food gathering practices. 

P31.  Complete Streets Audit & Recommendations   
Presenter: Kyle Monda (Faculty of Arts) 
Award Sponsor: University of Alberta Sustainability Council

From the Sustainability Council
"This year the Sustainability Council is happy to award a Sustainability Award to Kyle Monda's "Complete Streets Audit" - we were impressed with the comprehensive approach Kyle took in this project, addressing how a Complete Street would have a bearing on people, planet and profit.  This type of work has the potential to make significant positive changes in the communities studied, leading to residents' comfort and safety on the streets, more money in the pockets of local businesses, and infrastructure that's conducive for active transportation." 

Outstanding Communication - Poster

P114.  Evaluation of qPCR Assays for Molecular Serotyping of Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli  
Presenter: Jonas Szelewicki (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) 
Award Sponsor: Students' Union

P127. Role of White Blood Cells in Asthma and Allergies  
Presenter: Sarah Almas (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) 
Award Sponsor: Students' Union

P35. The Environmental Impact of Recycling Plastic to Polyester
Presenter: Payton Homeak (Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences)  
Award Sponsor: Faculty of Science

Outstanding Communication - Oral Presentation

O18. Gesture differences between ASL-English bilinguals and French-English bilinguals
Presenter: Lisa Shi (Faculty of Science) 
Award Sponsor: Faculty of Science 

O07.  A Review of Alberta’s Economy in 2019 and Overview of Ways to Eliminate Fossil Fuels Using Marxism 
Presenter:  Arizona Lowe (Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences)   
Award Sponsor: Students' Union

Outstanding Communication - Demonstration

D04. URecycle. 
Presenters:  Jared Matson, Joseph Menezes, and Harshil Vyas (Augustana Campus) 
Award Sponsor:  Students' Union

Outstanding Creative Activity

E01. Abrupt Clarity 
Presenter: Eden Redman (Faculty of Arts)
Award Sponsor:  Faculty of Arts

E05. Arbitrium  
Presenter: Yekta Sharafaddin-zadeh (Faculty of Science)
Award Sponsor: Faculty of Arts  

Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research

P79. Closing the loop: Designing a process to recycle airplane de-icer from the tarmac 
Presenter: Lindsay Korol (Faculty of Engineering)
Award Sponsor:  Faculty of Science 

Outstanding Early Career Research

O13. Studying Cartilage Dysfunction Using Proteomics
Presenter: Mark Nie (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) 
Award Sponsor:  Faculty of Science

Outstanding International Research

O02  Shaping a Country’s Sexuality: Bollywood’s Item Songs 
Presenter: Parul Singh Kanwar (Faculty of Arts)  
Award Sponsor:  University of Alberta International 

Outstanding International Researcher

P130. A Nup170 point mutation affects nuclear organisation in Budding Yeast
Presenter: Ashwini Premashankar (Faculty of Science) 
Award Sponsor: University of Alberta International 

Outstanding International Intern - University of Alberta Research Experience (UARE)

PO15. Using Information and Communication Technologies for managing frailty:  a systematic literature review
Presenters:  Laura Monsalve and Luisa Jaime Nieto (Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine) 
Award Sponsor:  University of Alberta International

Outstanding International Intern - Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)

P63. Modeling the performance of checkpointing process that use Heterogenous Storage Systems in Cloud computing Clusters
Presenter: Jack Marquez (Faculty of Science)
Award Sponsor:  University of Alberta International