Graduate student excellence celebrated at annual awards luncheon

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones presented 10 awards to more than 30 graduate students in recognition of outstanding achievement during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 18 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

All of the 2017 Graduate Student Award recipients exemplify the amazing array of graduate research and scholarship being conducted at Penn State, and are sources of inspiration and pride for the entire Penn State community. Their achievements offer a glimpse of future career trajectories that predict impressive individual successes and significant societal impact. In research facilities, classrooms and untold private and public sector organizations across the Commonwealth, the U.S. and around the globe, Penn State’s graduate students will move on to unlocking doors to new areas of intellectual discovery and creative accomplishment, and assuming leadership roles.

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

Academic Computing Fellowship: Mohammad Mahdi Kamani, doctoral student in information sciences and technology; and Cody Messick, doctoral student in physics

Intercollege Graduate Student Outreach Achievement Award: Shiming Lei, doctoral student in materials science and engineering

W. Lamar Kopp International Achievement Award: Karen Coker, master’s student in international affairs

Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award: Azeta Hatef, doctoral student in mass communications; Laura Hudock, doctoral student in curriculum and instruction; Cory Hutcheson, doctoral student in American studies; Yurika Matsui, doctoral student in molecular, cellular and integrative biosciences; Caitlin McMenamin, doctoral student in anatomy; Jesse McTernan, doctoral student in aerospace engineering; Thomas Newman, doctoral student in kinesiology; Edward O’Byrn, doctoral student in philosophy; William Paris, doctoral student in philosophy with a dual title in women’s studies; and Briana Sprague, doctoral student in human development and family studies.

Professional Master’s Excellence Award: Christopher Hazel, master’s student in architecture; Jason Isgrigg, master’s student in international affairs; Lindsey Landfried, master’s student in art; and Shuofei Zhao, master’s student in international affairs

Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award: Sarah Adams, doctoral student in English

Graduate Student International Research Award: Jenna Grzeslo, doctoral student in mass communications

Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award: Vasiliy Lakoba, master’s student in landscape architecture with a dual title in human dimensions of natural resources and the environment; Andrew Morris, master’s student in soil science; and Shanti Nachtergaele, master’s student in music

Penn State Alumni Association Scholarship for Penn State Alumni in the Graduate School: Emily Southmayd, doctoral student in kinesiology

Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medals: Zakaria Al Balushi, doctoral student in materials science and engineering; Raeven Chandler, doctoral student in rural sociology with a dual title in demography; Weile Chen, doctoral student in ecology; Phillip Domeier, doctoral student in biomedical sciences; Ryan Holroyd, doctoral student in history with a dual title in Asian studies; Stephen Mainzer, doctoral student in architecture with a dual title in human dimensions of natural resources and the environment; Bastian Minkenberg, doctoral student in plant biology; Abdon Pena-Francesch, doctoral student in engineering science and mechanics; Arpita Roy, doctoral student in astronomy and astrophysics; Danica Slavish, doctoral student in biobehavioral health; Curtis Stimpson, doctoral student in mechanical engineering; Garrett Swan, doctoral student in psychology; and William Turbitt, doctoral student in integrative and biomedical physiology

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