This annual award is completely student-driven, and only undergraduate student researchers can submit nominations.

On April 13, the 2022 Undergraduate Research Mentor and Supervisor of the Year Awards were presented at the annual University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) Award Ceremony.

This annual award is completely student-driven, and only undergraduate student researchers can submit nominations. It is presented to undergraduate research mentors and supervisors who demonstrate a commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers and serve as role models in their fields of study.

The 2022 winners are Erkan Kocas, CGBP; Andras Komaromy, DrMedVet, Ph.D., DACVO, DECVO, FARVO; and Gabriel Wrobel, Ph.D.


Erkan Kocas, CGBP

Erkan KocasErkan Kocas is the assistant director for International Trade Research at the MSU International Business Center and was selected as the 2022 Undergraduate Research Supervisor of the Year for his work supervising students managing the globalEDGE website resource, as well as conducting market research for Michigan companies.

Kocas’ focus in international trade research has two main elements: teaching and learning international business, and the global expansion of U.S. companies. These two focuses provide the scaffolding for his student learning opportunities. Every year, Kocas supervises around 25 students. One set of these students helps to manage the globalEDGE website by developing international business blogs, collecting data and information, and updating and designing portions of the website. The other set of students he supervises works with Michigan companies to conduct market research about the countries and industries they are interested in through the Michigan Export Growth Program funded by MEDC.

Kocas moved to his academic career after more than 15 years of business experience and said, “Working with students has been the most rewarding experience so far. This recognition proves that I was able to give my students the guidance and support they needed. Knowing I’m on the right track motivated me significantly.”


Andras Komaromy, DrMedVet, Ph.D., DACVO, DECVO, FARVO

Andras KomaromyAndras Komaromy is a professor in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and was selected as the 2022 Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year. Komaromy works with two to three highly motivated undergraduate students to support his laboratory as members of his research team.

Komaromy’s current research is focused on the study of glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in both humans and animals. He specifically studies the molecular and cellular disease mechanisms as targets for novel therapies. His research team is developing these improved treatments for future clinical application to slow and prevent glaucoma-induced blindness in human and animal patients.

In Komaromy’s laboratory, undergraduate research assistants play an important role. Many of the students are pursuing future careers in veterinary medicine and are primarily involved in collecting and processing research data and caring for the research animals. Depending on the students’ individual interests, they can also conduct their own research projects which they can present at conferences and publish in scientific journals.

“Receiving this award is an incredible honor for me,” Komaromy said. “I am grateful every day for working with some of the brightest and most hard-working students. They significantly contribute to the success of our cutting-edge research, which provides wonderful learning opportunities for all of us.”


Gabriel Wrobel, Ph.D.

Gabriel WrobelGabriel Wrobel is an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Anthropology in the College of Social Science and was selected as the 2022 Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year. Wrobel works with student researchers every year through the MSU Bioarcheology Laboratory.

Wrobel’s research is focused primarily on the analysis and interpretation of skeletal remains from Maya archeological sites in Belize. Every year Wrobel works with 10 to 15 student researchers. In the MSU Bioarcheology Laboratory students learn and apply methods for reconstructing aspects of life experience and identity and interpret those within a cultural context. Much of this research by students is on skeletons from the medieval site of Caesarea Maritima, Israel and from Maya sites in Belize. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and starting again next summer, students worked at a field school in Belize where they actively participated in field research and excavation.

“This award is incredibly meaningful to me,” Wrobel said. “Working with students is the most personally rewarding aspect of my job.”

To learn more about undergraduate research at MSU, visit