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2024 winners of the Nellie Ansley Reeves Award with UCI Libraries Head of Reference and Grunigen Medical Library Cynthia Johnson.
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Nellie Ansley Reeves Thesis Awards Celebrate Student Scholars

News Date
June 11, 2024
By Cheryl Baltes


Each year, UCI Libraries award four UC Irvine undergraduate students with the Nellie Ansley Reeves Awards for their outstanding senior theses. Presented at the annual Campuswide Honors Collegium Banquet, the awards are accompanied by a $250 prize. 

The Nellie Ansley Reeves Award Endowment was established by Nellie Ansley Reeves, a generous supporter and friend of the UCI Libraries until her passing in 2000. For more than 25 years, the endowment has funded prizes to UCI students to honor Reeves’ wish to involve students in scholarly research and writing.

The four 2024 awards include theses in the areas of psychology, developmental and cellular biology, radiological sciences and biomedical engineering, and neurobiology:

  • “Feasibility of Photoacoustic‐Guided Ultrasound Treatment for Port Wine Stains,” by Chloe Chua, focused on using a hybrid methodology combing laser and ultrasound therapies to treat port wine stains, or skin discolorations characterized by red or purple patches caused by vascular malformation. The results of Chua’s research indicate that this hybrid method has the potential to destroy deeper capillaries and reduce port wine stain resurgence.
  • “Employing Functional Imaging to Evaluate Differences Between Anesthetic Agents,” by Grace Harrington, tested and compared two anesthetics: Ketamine-Xylazine and Sodium Pentobarbital. Using functional imaging of cortical activity in response to sensory tactile stimulation of whiskers in rats, the research supported the hypothesis that Ketamine-Xylazine anesthesia is associated with stronger and more widespread evoked activity in the somatosensory cortex as compared to Sodium Pentobarbital. Harrington’s research could have benefits in basic animal research because cortical activation is not suppressed to the same extent in animals anesthetized with ketamine as opposed to those anesthetized using a barbiturate. 
  • “Dissecting the Mechanism Underlying the Potentiation of ASO Activity by the Small Molecule EIPA,” by Arielle Perrochon, investigated the mechanism by which EIPA makes more effective antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), which are a class of oligonucleotide therapeutics. ASOs have emerged as a promising new drug class with the potential to treat previously undruggable diseases. Perrochon’s research suggests that EIPA does not potentiate ASO activity by blocking trafficking to the lysosome; instead, EIPA may increase ASO activity by promoting endosomal leakage. 
  • “Success Through Psychology: Insight from Experts Backed by Science,” by Devon Salvin, asked 14 UCI professors the question, “What little-known piece of advice would you give a college freshman that is empirically supported?” Salvin then wove together their advice along with supporting research from different sources in an advice book to help first-year college students succeed.

Head of Reference and the Grunigen Medical Library Cynthia Johnson, who is the liaison to the Campuswide Honors Program, said it is a pleasure to read the thesis submissions each year.

“There were many excellent theses submitted this year that demonstrated information literacy, critical thinking, and clear writing,” she said. 


Photo caption: Nellie Ansley Reeves Award Recipients, from left to right, Grace Harrington, Arielle Perrochon, and Devon Salvin with UCI Libraries Head of Reference and Grunigen Medical Library Cynthia Johnson (Chloe Chua not shown)