Fourteen graduate students receive the Alumni Association Dissertation Award

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

The Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, considered to be among the most prestigious of the awards given 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:

  • Billie Alba, doctoral student in kinesiology
  • Caitlin Black, doctoral student in American studies
  • Birgitt Boschitsch, doctoral student in mechanical engineering
  • Adwitia Dey, doctoral student in integrative and biomedical physiology
  • Elyzabeth Engle, doctoral student in rural sociology with a dual title in human dimensions of natural resources and the environment
  • Julie Fenton, doctoral student in chemistry
  • Lucas Hackl, doctoral student in physics
  • Mitchell Hunter, doctoral student in agronomy
  • Michelle Martin Romero, doctoral student in biobehavioral health
  • James Maxson, doctoral student in communication arts and sciences
  • Keith Mickolajczyk, doctoral student in bioengineering
  • Felix Rodriguez, doctoral student in art education
  • Indira Turney, doctoral student in psychology
  • Jun Xu, doctoral student in information sciences and technology  

Each student received a $5,000 award and was recognized at the Graduate School Alumni Society’s Recognition Dinner on March 24. Funds for these awards were made possible by a gift from the Penn State Alumni Association.

The graduate students also were honored during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon on April 25 at the Nittany Lion Inn. More information about the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award and Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medals is available on the Graduate School’s website.