Alumna Sara Rockwell receives Distinguished Alumni Award

March 22, 2011

Sara Rockwell, an alumna of Penn State, has been honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by Penn State upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus. The award salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose "personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater." The award, given by the Penn State Board of Trustees, includes an engraved bronze medallion, matching pendant, and framed inscribed certificate.

Rockwell, a professor in the departments of Therapeutic Radiology and Pharmacology and the associate dean for scientific affairs at Yale University School of Medicine, has held faculty positions at Yale University since 1974. Her research focuses on laboratory studies aimed at understanding the biology of solid tumors and improving the treatment of cancer. During the early stages of her career, Rockwell was among the first researchers to study the implications of the hypoxia found in microscopic tumors. The results of her research have been published in more than 200 scientific publications and have been presented in over 250 papers at national and international scientific meetings.

Other awards and honors Rockwell has received include a Distinguished Service Award from the Radiation Research Society in 2010, a Robert F. Kallman Award from the Division of Radiation and Cancer Biology and the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2010, a Virginia Logan Lectureship from the Department of Radiation Oncology and Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Medical College in 2004, a John Yuhas Award for Outstanding Research in Radiation Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, and a Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE) Award in 1994.

Rockwell is a fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology and also is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. She has served as an adviser in various capacities for the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Health Services and Research Administration, the Department of Energy, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the state of Connecticut, as well as for several universities and charitable organizations. She recently began a term as a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. In addition, she served as a member and subgroup chair for the National Institutes of Health Blue Ribbon Panel for the Strategic Plan and Research Agenda for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiological and Nuclear Threats, and as a panel member and subgroup chair for the Radiological/Nuclear Threat Countermeasures Working Group, established by the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Homeland Security.

Rockwell received a doctoral degree in biophysics from Stanford University in 1971 and an honorary master's degree from Yale University in 1989. She earned a bachelor's degree in physics with distinction from Penn State in 1965.

  • IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated March 28, 2011