Graduate student excellence celebrated at awards luncheon

April 28, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State President Eric Barron presented 11 awards to more than 30 graduate students in recognition of outstanding achievement during the inaugural Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held April 27 at the Nittany Lion Inn. 

All of the 2016 Graduate Student Award recipients exemplify the amazing array of graduate research and scholarship being conducted at Penn State, and are sources of inspiration and pride for the entire Penn State community. Their achievements offer a glimpse of future career trajectories that predict impressive individual successes and significant societal impact. In research facilities, classrooms and untold private and public sector organizations across the Commonwealth, the U.S. and around the globe, Penn State’s graduate students will move on to unlocking doors to new areas of intellectual discovery and creative accomplishment, and assuming leadership roles.

Articles about this year’s award recipients are listed below, by award category.

Academic Computing Fellowship: Hyun Bin Kang, doctoral student in statistics

Intercollege Graduate Student Outreach Achievement Award: Christopher J. Thawley, doctoral candidate in ecology

W. Lamar Kopp International Achievement Award: Chao Su, master of arts student in educational theory and policy with a dual title in comparative and international education

Graduate Student Service Award: Brittany Banik, doctoral student in bioengineering

Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award: Stephanie Berberick, doctoral student in mass communications; Eliana Christou, doctoral candidate in statistics; Nathan M. Garvin, doctoral candidate in physiology; Veronica Hicks, doctoral student in art education with a dual title in women’s studies; Mitchell C. Hunter, doctoral student in agronomy; Carrie R. Lewis, doctoral candidate in molecular, cellular and integrative biosciences; Emma G. Mullaney, doctoral candidate in geography with a dual title in women’s studies; Anna E. Navrotskaya, doctoral candidate in French; Charlene B. Van Buiten, doctoral candidate in food science; and Kathleen M. Zadzora, doctoral student in human development and family studies

Professional Master’s Excellence Award: Casey N. Pinto, master of public health student in public health and doctoral candidate in nursing; Taryn M. Serman, master of biotechnology student in biotechnology; Bethany Snyder, master of public health student in public health; and Ma. Fatima Carla Bertulfo, who has earned her master of biotechnology degree in biotechnology

Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award: Didem Ikis, doctoral candidate in biology

Graduate Student International Research Award: Margaret H. Ariotti, doctoral candidate in political science

Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award: Maridel A. Fredericksen, master of science student in entomology; Dana M. Tobin, master of science student in meteorology

Penn State Alumni Association Scholarship for Penn State Alumni in the Graduate School: Lauren Perrotti, doctoral candidate in Spanish with a dual title in language science

Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medals: Mohammadreza Aminikashani, doctoral candidate in electrical engineering; Amin Azizi, doctoral candidate in materials science and engineering; Ajit Balram, doctoral candidate in physics; Laura M. Brown, doctoral candidate in English; Alexandra M. Garvin, doctoral candidate in physiology; Po-Hsun Huang, doctoral candidate in engineering science and mechanics; Brynne D. McBryde, doctoral candidate in art history; Gail L. McCormick, doctoral student in ecology; Brandon McDaniel, doctoral candidate in human development and family studies; Varun Vijay Prabhu, doctoral candidate in molecular medicine; Adriana M. Reyes, doctoral candidate in sociology with a dual title in demography; Thomas F. Waddell, doctoral candidate in mass communications; and Lei Zhang, doctoral candidate in biology

View the full description of each of the Graduate Student Awards with contacts for further information.

Last Updated May 09, 2016