Ackerman receives Lydecker Student Research Award

Sophie Ackerman UWRF headshotApril 5, 2021 – Senior Sophie Ackerman has been named the recipient of the 2021 Drs. Ann and William Lydecker Student Research Award at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Each year since 2011, the Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity (URSCA) Office has recognized an outstanding undergraduate’s research efforts coupled with service to and/or involvement in UW-River Falls. 

Ackerman, of Marshfield, will graduate in May with majors in neuroscience and biology. She has been very active in research, joining a neuroscience research project in a supporting role as a freshman and continuing her own studies since then. Her research projects focused on studying depression and anxiety, using rat models to investigate the various aspects of the brain-gut connection and the role of the medial prefrontal cortex in symptoms of mental illness. She has presented results from her research at conferences in California, Georgia and Chicago.

Ackerman has worked in the URSCA Office for two years where she played a critical role in supporting the office during a transition in leadership and staffing. She also led SURSCA, the student URSCA group, serving as president or co-president for two years. SURSCA reviews and scores travel grant proposals submitted by students hoping to obtain funding to travel to present, compete or attend conferences and events related to their academic studies.

Outside of URSCA, Ackerman served on the Dean’s Council for the College of Arts and Sciences during her junior and senior years. She served with distinction as a student member of the River Falls SciTech Partners and Advocates Council helping to promote support for the proposed SciTech Innovation Center. She was nominated for the Chancellor’s Award for Students in both her junior and senior years and was recently named a recipient of the 2020 award.

Following graduation, Ackerman will take a week off before starting a job with BrainXell, a small startup company in Madison that cultures neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells for research purposes. This job allows her to utilize research skills she developed in her time as an undergraduate researcher and gives her the opportunity to begin a career path in the field of neuroscience.

For more information about the award, email or call 715-425-3902.

Contact Us

University Communications
and Marketing
120 North Hall
Phone: 715-425-3771
Fax: 715-425-4486