Graduate student receives the W. Lamar Kopp International Achievement Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Karen Coker, a Penn State graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in international affairs, received the 2017 W. Lamar Kopp International Achievement Award during the Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 18 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

This annual award, sponsored by the University Office of Global Programs, recognizes one graduate student who has significantly contributed to the advancement of the international mission of the University through excellence in research; participation in international programs and/or field projects; teaching; and service to the international community. It is named in honor of the late deputy vice president for international programs.

Coker's research is focused on respiratory disease in Burkina Faso and Senegal, and its connection to the poor air quality from the Saharan dust. According to her nominator, "this work fills a critical gap as it relates to understanding seasonal patterns of respiratory disease in connection to poor air quality from Saharan dust events."

Coker also served as a teaching assistant for two courses in the 2015-16 academic year, Introduction to Contemporary Africa, and Environment of Africa - Geology and Climate Change, in the African Studies Program.

One faculty member wrote, "She not only does her job well, but she also respects those around her. She brings an incredible vibrancy and energy wherever she finds herself and easily interacts with new people." 

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Last Updated April 26, 2017