Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award finalists to present research May 29

UNIVERSITY PARK Pa. — Three final candidates selected for the 2020 University Libraries Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award will present a summary of their scholarly research to the public and judges on Friday, May 29, online. Penn State University Libraries, led by Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, and the Schreyer Honors College, led by Dean Peggy Johnson, partner in presenting the award.

The annual award is given to a Penn State student through a competition that begins with a review of submitted theses by a jury of librarians and other Penn State faculty, and concludes with a public oral presentation by the three finalists. First place is awarded $1,250, second place is awarded $750 and third place is awarded $500.

The three finalists, their majors and thesis titles are:

  • Matthew Ross Aronson, biomedical engineering major, College of Engineering, “Engineering Biomimetic Anticancer Therapies”
  • Katelyn A. Kirchner, materials science and engineering major, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, “Beyond the Average: A Statistical Investigation of Fluctuations in Glass-Forming Systems"
  • Panini Chaitanya Pandya, international politics, Spanish and history major, College of the Liberal Arts, “The ‘Indian Question’ and the Construction of Latin American National Identities.”

All three students are Schreyer Honors Scholars. Pandya also is a Paterno Fellows through the College of the Liberal Arts.

The presentations will be live-streamed on Zoom at 1 p.m. Eastern time. If needed, the Zoom session password is 140582.

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 are available at

For more information, contact Wendi Keeler at 814-863-5449 or

Last Updated June 09, 2020