Provost's Award for Undergraduate Research/Creative Mentoring: Stephanie McCalla, Founders Day Faculty Awards, Academic Year 2023-24. Portrait of Stephanie McCalla.

Stephanie McCalla

Stephanie McCalla has won Montana State University Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research/Creative Mentoring for 2024. McCalla is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering.

The criteria for the award include the number of undergraduate students mentored, hours of involvement; and recognition of student work through publication, awards, exhibitions, conference presentations, and patents. This award carries a $2,000 honorarium.

In the nine years since she joined MSU, McCalla has mentored 33 students, three of whom have been awarded the prestigious Goldwater award – the top honor for undergraduate STEM majors in the U.S. Also, McCalla’s students have spent on average more than 2.5 semesters in her lab, offering a year-plus of supervision per student. With this conservative estimate, McCalla has worked with undergraduates for at least 1,300 hours. Over a single academic year, she dedicated more than 40 hours per week to meeting directly with undergraduate researchers. This excludes time spent reviewing student work prior to face-to-face meetings.

“Dr. McCalla has demonstrated a remarkable degree of engagement with undergraduate students through research, teaching and service contributions,” wrote Brett Gunnink, dean of the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering. “That she personally has mentored three Goldwater scholars, in addition to several other student award winners, is beyond impressive.”

The 33 undergraduate students McCalla has mentored include:

  • 16 and eight students from underrepresented minority groups.
  • Four who have co-authored peer reviewed publications.
  • 7 students who have presented their work at national conferences with a combined 11 MSU students authoring the presentations.

McCalla joined MSU in 2014.