2021 Guentter Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award finalists, winner named

May 14, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries and the Schreyer Honors College recognized the 10th annual finalist presentations and winner of the recently endowed Robert F. Guentter Jr. Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award on May 6, immediately following the three finalists’ remote presentations:

  • First place: Siena Baker, from Wilmette, Illinois; community, environment and development, College of Agricultural Sciences, and economics, College of the Liberal Arts, for “The Political Economy of Cellular Agriculture: Delineating Tension Points in the Development of Cultivated Meat Products.”
  • Second place: Cassandra Motyka, from Northampton, Pennsylvania; security and risk analysis, College of Information Sciences and Technology, for “The Universal Language of Hatred: The Unlikely Union of Islamic and Right-Wing Extremism.”
  • Third place: Taylor A. Slusser, from Palmyra, Pennsylvania; classics and ancient Mediterranean studies, College of the Liberal Arts, and environmental resource management, College of Agricultural Sciences, for “Speaking from Eternity: Scriptural Interpretation in the Epistle to the Hebrews.”

All three students are Schreyer Scholars, and Baker and Slusser are also Paterno Fellows through the College of the Liberal Arts. Motyka is the first student from the College of Information Sciences and Technology to be named a finalist for the award.

An online recording of the presentations is available.

Award recipients were selected by a jury of Penn State faculty that included:

  • Diane Zabel, committee chair, Benzak Business Librarian and head, Schreyer Business Library.
  • Carmen Cole, information sciences and business liaison librarian.
  • Briana Ezray, research data librarian–STEM.
  • Bonnie Imler, head librarian, Robert E. Eiche Library at Penn State Altoona and Dubois Campus Library at Penn State DuBois.
  • Kat Philips, nursing and allied health librarian.
  • Elizabeth Parfitt, associate teaching professor, Department of English.
  • Andrea Pritt, STEM librarian, Penn State Harrisburg Library.
  • Nonny Schlotzhauer, interim head, Humanities and Social Sciences Library.

The submissions process for the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award begins in January of each year. Students who have graduated in summer of the previous year or fall or spring of the current academic year are eligible to participate. Details about the award are available on the University Libraries website.

For more information, contact Wendi Keeler at 814-863-5449 or wak109@psu.edu.

Last Updated June 01, 2021