Four graduate students receive the Professional Master’s Excellence Award

April 27, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four Penn State graduate students received the 2018 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: Madeleine Carot, master’s student in international affairs, pursuing a joint degree in law from Penn State Law; Zena Kirby, master’s student in art education; Elizabeth Krajan, master’s student in public health; and Mohammad Sarhan, master’s student in international affairs.

A master’s student in international affairs pursuing a joint degree in law from Penn State Law, Carot completed a ten-week internship in the International Justice Program at The Advocates for Human Rights as part of her culminating experience. She authored a report on the issue of the death penalty in Barbados that was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Another report — on the issue of the rights of women with disabilities who have been victims of gender-based violence in Morocco — was submitted to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Kirby is pursuing a master’s degree in art education. For her culminating project, she is conducting research focused on the cumulative effect of art education on a student’s performance in other courses of study. As Kirby's project adviser explained, her efforts to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) will help “prepare the next generation to confront the challenges of the future, which will require collaboration among scientists and artists.”

Krajan is a master’s student in public health at the Penn State College of Medicine. For her culminating experience, she conducted a global health internship in Morocco with Maison de Sante Albalsam, a local, nongovernmental organization focused on empowering the community through education and the provision of primary health care services. Paired with a local nutritionist, Krajan helped to develop culturally appropriate nutrition-education workshops for youth between the ages of 11 and 18. The program was designed to match the English-speaking and reading levels of the predominantly French population.

As his culminating experience in the master’s degree program in international affairs, Sarhan interned as a security analyst at The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, D.C.  One nominator wrote, “Mohammad was our go-to expert on Egypt’s security situation. Able to both manage details and capture the bigger picture, he delivered regular briefings to our senior staff, contributed to key policy documents, and his insightful analysis was published in our blog.”

Each of the award winners were honored at the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 25 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Last Updated May 03, 2018