University Park, Pa. – Alexis Barbarin, a doctoral candidate in entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been honored with the 2011 Graduate Student Service Award.
The award, established in 1991, recognizes a graduate student who has best combined high academic achievement with leadership in University or other public activities.
Barbarin has been active in the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) and currently serves as its president. Under her leadership, the group has been involved in a number of programs, including First Fridays Social Networking, 12th annual Kwanzaa Extravaganza, the Undergraduate Mentoring Program and an upcoming Achievement Conference.
She previously served as program chair, organizing BGSA's participation in the Department of Entomology's Great Insect Fair and its involvement with the State College Food Bank and Toys for Tots. As a member of the organization's liaison group, she has worked with the Paul Robeson Cultural Center on a number of initiatives, including team and community building, cultural leadership learning and development, and program advising and assessment.
"She has a keen sense of hard work and is passionate about serving the Penn State community," one nominator said.
In the entomology department, Barbarin's current research is on bed bugs, and she has been a graduate teaching assistant for a number of entomology courses. She earned an undergraduate degree from Xavier University and a master's degree in education from Penn State.