UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jack Iffert, Schreyer Scholar and senior in civil engineering in the College of Engineering at Penn State, has been named recipient of the 2019 Ralph Dorn Hetzel Memorial Award.
Named for Penn State’s 10th president, the Hetzel Award recognizes a combination of high scholastic attainment together with good citizenship, and participation and leadership in student activities.
During his undergraduate experience, Iffert has participated in numerous leadership experiences to the benefit of students, Penn State and the greater community.
During an engineering technology and ethics fellowship he earned through the Rock Ethics Institute in 2018-19, he worked with a team of five to conduct analyses of needs, gaps and opportunities for engineering, technology and ethics research across the nation.
During an independent study on community development theory and design practice in 2018, Iffert completed research to evaluate town-gown relationships in the community through the use of public space and social infrastructure. Iffert presented his findings to community members at the Hamer Center for Community Design seminar.
Iffert also served as a venture team member and student leader in the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program, where he traveled to Kenya and Tanzania to understand community needs while developing promising social entrepreneurship programs that further the reach and impact of Penn State.
He was also teaching assistant and co-founder of PSembraceU in the Schreyer Honors College Leadership Jumpstart Program and president of the Penn State/IFC Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) organization Apollo.
While member of the Presidential Leadership Academy, he co-authored a policy brief on mental health issues, which he presented to Penn State administrators.
“What sets remarkable students apart at a top-tier research university is not simply academic capabilities, technical skills or grades but the level of commitment shown to advancing scientific understanding and the leadership displayed for contributing to the broader good,” a nominator said. “Jack continues to show commitment to leadership and serving the greater good in every aspect of his personal and professional life.”