Graduate student awardees celebrated at annual luncheon

April 12, 2019

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

All of the 2019 Graduate Student Award recipients are the embodiment and hope of the future. They are the spark that begins the next level of groundbreaking research. They are the future of the academy, poised to train generations of scholars across every discipline. They are the innovators of technology startups, the advisers to world leaders, the artists who will showcase dramatic new perspectives, and the economic engine of our nation and the world.

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

Academic Computing Fellowship: Molly Rathbun, doctoral student in biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology

Intercollege Graduate Student Outreach Achievement Award: Asia Murphy, doctoral student in ecology

Ardeth and Norman Frisbey International Student Award: Ilse Huerta Arredondo, doctoral student in agriculture and extension education with a dual title in international agriculture and development

Graduate Student Service Award: Bikalpa Neupane, master’s student in management and organization leadership and doctoral student in informatics

Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award: Scott Atchison, doctoral student in music education; Alexander Castonguay, doctoral student in chemistry; Benjamin Firgens, doctoral student in communication arts and sciences; Philip Graybill, doctoral student in electrical engineering; Robert Klosinski, doctoral student in German with a dual title in language science; Lucas LaFreniere, doctoral student in psychology; Kate Lesciotto, doctoral student in anthropology; Marie Paillard, doctoral student in French; Gaetano Posteraro, doctoral student in philosophy; and Francesca Wade, doctoral student in kinesiology

Professional Master’s Excellence Award: Jerry Douglass Fields III, master’s student in international affairs, and Cynthia Hron, master’s student in landscape architecture

Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award: Alexis Weiner, doctoral student in molecular, cellular, and integrative biosciences

Graduate Student International Research Award: Bipana Paudel Timilsena, doctoral student in entomology with a dual title in international agriculture and development

Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award: Umme Hani, master’s student in architecture; Aravinth Sadagopan, master’s student in aerospace engineering; and Olivia Shotyk, master’s student in landscape architecture

Penn State Alumni Association Scholarship for Penn State Alumni in the Graduate School: Melanie Allen, doctoral student in ecology

Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medals: Moses Ajemigbitse, doctoral student in environmental engineering; Laura Freitas Almeida, doctoral student in art history; Sarah Eissler, doctoral student in rural sociology with a dual title in human dimensions of natural resources and the environment; Sara Klee, doctoral student in plant pathology; Johann Le Guelte, doctoral student in French; Leigha MacNeill, doctoral student in psychology; Cody Messick, doctoral student in physics; Sohrab Rahimi, doctoral student in architecture; Nichole Sell, doctoral student in biobehavioral health; Jacob Snyder, doctoral student in mechanical engineering; Ching-Wen Tan, doctoral student in entomology; Shannon White, doctoral student in ecology; and Kehao Zhang, doctoral student in materials science and engineering

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

Last Updated April 12, 2019