Dr. Nathaniel Stern Wins Mentor of the Year Award

Dr. Nathaniel Stern, Professor of Art & Design and Mechanical Engineering as well as the Director of the Startup Challenge at the LEC, won the award for Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year at the 14th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. The Symposium honors both students and mentors who strive to advance research across UWM.  

Dr. Stern has been active in the Undergraduate Research field since Fall 2008 – the entirety of his career at UWM. “I come from a family of teachers, and my favorite kind of mentorship addresses the whole person – and so I believe small groups and one-on-ones, over time, can make the most difference,” Stern said regarding his mentorship style at the Office of Undergraduate Research. “The best part [of being a mentor] is watching the significant changes in thought, responsibility, and confidence over the years. The hardest part is seeing the first few times very tough choices have to be made by those same students; I can only guide them.” 

Dr. Stern has just finished work on his newest large exhibition with his team of students. This project is a collaboration with New York-based artificial intelligence poet Sasha Stiles. “We’re exploring where materiality and meaning connect in a post-Internet world. The attached image and drawing are a prototype and sketch of a ‘poem’ that will be written in ‘cursive binary code’ with Ethernet cables, embedded in live moss; the cables will themselves also carry AI poetry from two computers ‘speaking’ to one another.” 



To learn more about the Undergraduate Research Symposium, click here.