Natalya Undergraduate Awards

 

USP student Natalya Jia Yu Wickramasuriya (Psychology + USP, Class of 2019) was presented the Global Winner award in the Psychology category at the Global Undergraduate Summit for her research paper titled “Development of the Sensitivity to Instructor Criticism Scale (SICS)”.

Organised by the Global Undergraduate Awards (UA), the Summit was held from 12 to 14 November in Dublin, Ireland. Top award-winning university students across 25 different categories from all over the world gathered at the Summit. It was a unique opportunity for them to network and share cross-disciplinary research in a vibrant and engaging space. This year, there were more than 4,800 submissions and only 25 of them were awarded Global Winners.

So, what motivated Natalya to submit her paper? She shared, “I decided to participate in the UA entirely on impulse! I randomly came across its call for submissions one day and decided, why not? On hindsight, I think part of me was rather sick of hearing nothing but negativity about the ivory tower of academia. When I submitted my work, winning was not even a possibility to me – I just wanted to have the opportunity to experience a positive interaction with the wider research community. Even without winning, the UA was an optimal platform to get to know other undergraduates who were equally invested in academia with an impact – now, that excited me.”

Heartiest congrats, Natalya! She shares more about her takeaways below – be inspired by her courageous spirit to make an impact in the world, and how being in USP has helped her prepare for the Summit.

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“Beyond being recognised for my research, the UA award granted me the opportunity to attend the Global Undergraduate Summit in Dublin, Ireland. The 3-day Summit was chock-full of invigorating presentations and panel discussions, with both fellow undergraduate researchers and working professionals. My greatest takeaway was definitely the opportunity to interact with so many international peers and professionals, all brimming with enthusiasm and passion for their research and jobs! Two words to describe the atmosphere there: intense and inspiring. The networks and friendships forged there are ones I truly treasure.

I believe the hope I harbour for myself is one I share with my fellow awardees – the UA has provided us with an unparalleled platform to share and disseminate our undergraduate work. The experience ignited in me a refreshing sense of purpose and determination to continue conducting research – a particularly poignant reminder given that I just embarked on my Honours Thesis this semester. I aspire to continue pursuing and sharing meaningful research in my own areas of academic interest. Hopefully, in some small way, they will lead to tangible, positive changes in our society.

I would say that the genuine interest in and easy appreciation I had for all the multi-disciplinary research topics at the Summit emerged from my USP education. This quiet fascination I felt undoubtedly shaped my perspective when I engaged with the other Summit attendees – students and professionals from diverse disciplines: history, archaeology, visual art – the list goes on. The intellectual curiosity cultivated in USP encouraged me to strike up countless conversations with other winners, learning more about their fascinating research and equally interesting backgrounds. My daily experience mingling with my USP friends meant that after a little warming up, I was relatively comfortable with these interactions, basking in others' intellectual discoveries. Honestly, some of the conversations I had felt just like those you would hear in the USP Dining Hall during meal times!”

 

Natalya Undergraduate Awards 2

Natalya receiving her Gold Medal at the prize giving ceremony.