Thirteen graduate students receive Alumni Association Dissertation Award

April 06, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Thirteen graduate students received the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal in recognition of their outstanding professional accomplishment and achievement in scholarly research in any of the disciplinary areas of arts and humanities; social sciences — applied and basic; physical and computational sciences — applied and basic; life and health sciences; and engineering.

The Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students, provides funding to full-time research doctorate students who have passed their comprehensive examinations and have received approval of their dissertation topic.

Award recipients and their programs of study are:

  • Anushka Bansal, doctoral student in materials science and engineering
  • Samantha Billing, doctoral student in history
  • Matthew Brooks, doctoral student in rural sociology with a dual title in demography
  • Amanda Burton, doctoral student in agronomy
  • Blake Colaianne, doctoral student in human development and family studies
  • Karly Etz, doctoral student in art history
  • Stephanie Herbstritt, doctoral student in agricultural and biological engineering
  • Sarah Isbell, doctoral student in ecology
  • Curry Kennedy, doctoral student in English
  • Mariah MacDonald, doctoral student in astronomy and astrophysics with dual title in astrobiology
  • Julian Scheffer, doctoral student in psychology
  • Patricia Yee, doctoral student in neuroscience
  • Xiufan Yu, doctoral student in statistics

Each student received a $5,000 award. Funds for these awards were made possible by a gift from the Penn State Alumni Association.

More information about the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medals is available on the Graduate School’s website.

Last Updated April 06, 2021