UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Chad Nihranz, a doctoral student in ecology, is the 2018 recipient of the Intercollege Graduate Student Outreach Achievement Award. This award was established in 2004, with a generous donation from alumni Steven E. and Alice R. Linberg, and a matching commitment from University Outreach.
The Intercollege Graduate Student Outreach Achievement Award recognizes outstanding outreach achievements of degree candidates in any of the Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs that relate to bringing graduate student scholarship to the community, in order to benefit society in some manner. This award endeavors to encourage our future academicians to embrace outreach and promote a commitment to advancing the welfare of and quality of life for the public through their scholarly pursuits.
Nihranz has received praise for enriching the overall science outreach environment at Penn State and paving the way for many other graduate students to communicate their research through engagement with the public.
Nihranz has developed outreach activities for Exploration-U community science nights, which are organized in partnership with local school districts. He played a lead role in designing and implementing the curriculum for a science outreach course for graduate students that provides professional guidance on outreach activity design, lesson planning and science communication.
Nihranz has participated in numerous outreach activities and events at the local, regional and national levels. These include the Entomology Department’s Great Insect Fair, the ecology program’s Science Café, and the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., where, along with five other graduate students from Penn State, he helped to implement an interactive, app-based activity that teaches the concept of evolution by showing that small changes in DNA can lead to large-scale changes over time.
Nihranz was honored during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 25 at the Nittany Lion Inn.