Western scholars' research earn top spots in global competition

Tackling subjects like sustainability, contagious viruses and oppression, Western undergraduate researchers were named among the best in the world in four categories of this year’s Global Undergraduate Awards.

Regional Winners Akshi Chadha, Kaitlyn Charnetski and Stephanos Horvers (in categories Literature, Life Sciences and Engineering, respectively) and Global Winner in history, Hannah Kern-Change, joined the ranks of Western scholars who have been globally recognized for their outstanding research papers. 

The pan-disciplinary Undergraduate Awards competition recognizes excellence in undergraduate coursework and received close to 2,500 submissions from 292 universities in 45 countries for 2021. Global Winners are recognized for submitting the best paper worldwide in their category. Regional Winners are deemed the best papers in their category among submissions from the United States and Canada. 

This year, 24 Western scholars were also ranked Highly Commended, scoring in the top 10 per cent of their fields.

To be considered for an Undergraduate Award, entrants submit their work to one of 25 categories which represent a broad range of academic disciplines. The submissions are anonymously assessed in each category by an international panel of more than 500 academic and industry experts.

Those named Global Winners, Regional Winners and Highly Commended each receive a certificate, publication of their paper in The Undergraduate Library and access to the UA Alumni Network. They are also invited to present their research and connect with other scholars during a virtual summit in November.

“Western is a proud participant in The Undergraduate Awards. As is evident from these results, Western students from a wide range of disciplines continue to demonstrate to the world that they are capable of outstanding academic research,” said Lise Laporte, Senior Director at Western International.

“We are thrilled to congratulate and celebrate the achievements of our newest Undergraduate Award recipients, who join more than 200 Highly Commended, 14 Global Winners and 17 Regional Winners from Western since our first year participating in the program in 2014. We look forward to continuing to offer this opportunity to our students for future years.”

Regional Winners:

Akshi ChadhaAkshi Chadha, BA’21
Category: Literature
Resisting Social Death: Collective Agency of the Enslaved in The History of Mary Prince

Learn more about Akshi and her research




Kaitylyn CharnetskiKaitlyn Charnetski, BSc’21
Category: Life Sciences
Investigating genomic signatures in influenza A viruses using supervised machine learning: A case study on an emergent H1N1 strain

Learn more about Kaitlyn and her research




Stephanos HorversStephanos Horvers, PhD Candidate
Category: Engineering
Thermochemical Conversion of Waste Plastics to Bio-Industrial Resources

Learn more about Stephanos and his research 



Global Winner:

Hannah Kern-Cheng, BA’21, Brescia University College
Category: History
REINSCRIBING THE SELF AND RE-WRITING THE WORLD: Ojibwe and Báxoje Autoethnography in Victorian Ethnological Exhibitions 

2021 Highly Commended submissions from Western

Porter Belanger, Politics & International Relations
Kevin Bonneau, Law
Laura Butler, Visual Arts
Lian Buwadi, Social Science: Sociology & Social Policy
Akshi Chadha, Literature
Kaitlyn Charnetski, Life Sciences
Bao Doan, Mathematics & Physics
Stephanos Horvers, Engineering
Prisca Hsu, Psychology
Elyse Hudson, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Hannah Kern-Cheng, History
Dorothy Lin, Life Sciences
Zi Hao  Liu, Medical Sciences
Hannah Migorodschi, Social Science: Anthropology & Cultural Studies
Ashish Nambiar, Life Sciences
Tianhong Qiu, Psychology
Vin Quang, Social Science: Sociology & Social Policy
Jade Rozal, Philosophy
Catherine Sun, Medical Sciences
Hannah Verster, Art History & Theory
Benjamin Wallace, Music, Film & Theatre
Michelle Wong, Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Care
Madeline Wood, Psychology
JunRu Wu, History