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Congratulations to the 2022-23 STAR Scholars Outstanding Mentors of the Year, Dr. Ellen Bass and Dr. Mauricio Reginato!

September 29, 2023

Ellen BassEllen Bass, PhD, is the Interim Senior Associate Dean for Research & Professor of Information Science in the College of Computing & Informatics. She has over thirty years of human-centered systems engineering research and design experience in air transportation, healthcare, meteorology and other domains. The focus of her research is to develop theories of human performance, quantitative modeling methodologies, and associated experimental designs that can be used to evaluate human-automation interaction and human-human collaboration in the context of total system performance. 

Dr. Bass mentored three STAR Scholars this summer, Sukriti Dhungel, Loren Lei, and Bhavya Isotia. 

All three of her mentees nominated her for Outstanding Mentor of the Year, noting her commitment to her students’ learning and growth, both as researchers and as people. Loren wrote, “I came into the STAR experience without prior experience of what research is like, let alone the analytical thinking that it requires. Professor Bass understands that, and instead of holding my hand throughout the process, she found the right balance of letting me make the mistakes and pointing them out to me, no matter how small or “stupid” they were. While she never sugarcoats the truth, no matter how many times I ran into mistakes, she kept her composure and addressed the mistake in different ways until I understood. Most importantly, Professor Bass cared about the development of me as a person, not just the research.”  

Sukriti said, “Her genuine enthusiasm for my progress surpassed my own, and she wholeheartedly embraced every stage of my learning process. Her mentoring efforts radiated genuine passion. Beyond guiding research, Professor Bass organized social events for all CCI STAR scholars and curated special outings for her mentees, including a day trip to Ocean City and the Chinese Lantern Festival. Her focus consistently revolved around nurturing our learning and igniting a research-driven passion.” 

Bhavya added, “Professor Bass has been my most inspiring mentor who has consistently focused on broadening our horizons, nurturing our intellectual curiosity in research by giving us a chance to keep on working on our projects even after [STAR], and igniting a genuine fervor for research.” 

Mauricio ReginatoMauricio Reginato, PhD, is a professor and interim chair in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and director of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology at Drexel University College of Medicine. His lab is interested in understanding how signaling pathways regulate metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells, particularly breast cancer, with the ultimate goal of developing novel treatment therapies.  

This summer, Dr. Reginato mentored two STAR Scholars, Anna Ramesh and Madhu Karuppiah. 

Both of his students noted his commitment to teaching and mentoring all members of the lab, from the newest to the most experienced researchers. Madhu said, “Despite having students at all levels (undergraduates, graduates, volunteers), Dr. Reginato constantly made an effort to make sure everyone is engaged and enjoying the research they were participating in and always interacted and treated students of all levels in his lab equally.”

Anna added, “Aside from daily check-ins, Dr. Reginato was kind enough to have weekly one-on-one meetings with me, where we would go over the data I had compiled the previous week, he would further explain the theory behind our experiments, and he would ask how I was feeling about my overall lab experience.”

Madhu said, “Over my time in STAR, I have realized that it is easy to do experiments and get results without even understanding what we are doing and why we are doing it. Luckily, while working under Dr. Reginato, I never felt like I was doing tasks without understanding the underlying reasons and science behind it. Truly giving the work I was doing purpose and motivating me to continue to come in and challenge myself to learn." 

Thank you, Dr. Bass and Dr. Reginato, for guiding and supporting our STAR Scholars!