Four graduate students receive the Professional Master’s Excellence Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four Penn State graduate students received the Professional Master’s Excellence Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in a professional master’s degree program, in any discipline, based upon the student’s academic record in the graduate program and the quality and impact of the student’s culminating experience, including creative works, performance and projects, conducted in a professional setting.

This year’s recipients are: Christopher Hazel, master’s student in architecture; Jason Isgrigg, master’s student in international affairs; Lindsey Landfried, master’s student in art; and Shuofei Zhao, master’s student in international affairs.

Hazel is pursuing a master’s degree in architecture. For his master’s thesis, he reviewed case studies of refugee camps to gain an understanding of the conditions and limitations of shelter structures. He proposes that customizable building elements might help address individual needs of refugees traveling alone or with their family or friends, taking into consideration gender, age or physical limitations.

Isgrigg completed a nine-week internship with the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany, as his culminating experience in the international affairs program. Isgrigg is a U.S. Army veteran who has completed a deployment in Iraq, directed a multinational intelligence support element in Afghanistan, and served as a Squadron Intelligence Officer with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany. He spent a significant portion of his internship working within the External Division of the Embassy’s Political Section, which focuses on German foreign policy; relations with other countries and international organizations; and the effects of German policy decisions on U.S. national interests.

As a master’s student in art, Landfried’s culminating experience in the Zoller Gallery on campus is titled "Skyline Drive." The exhibit is a group of color and mark-based drawings on paper that reference and reflect horizons. Landfried noted that “in these works, skylines are the border states delineating day from night, light from dark, and earth from atmosphere. This installation posits an interstitial space that demarcates a time without time.” "Skyline Drive" will be presented nationally and internationally over the next two years. 

Zhao, a master’s student in international affairs, served as an intern in the e-commerce and marketing department within the Thermotechnology Business Group at Bosch in Germany. Zhao’s team was charged with promoting the corporation’s brand, and creating and executing market strategy through traditional and social media in the Chinese market. Among other individual responsibilities, Zhao was directed to initiate and direct an e-commerce business environment renovation project. As a result of Zhao’s efforts, the number of unauthorized and fake products sold on the world’s largest e-commerce platform was reduced by half. 

The award winners were honored at the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 18 at the Nittany Lion Inn. 

Last Updated April 26, 2017