UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On May 5, five Schreyer Honors College Scholars were selected as winners of annual awards established through the generosity of alumni, faculty members and friends. The reception in the HUB Robeson Center’s Alumni Hall on the University Park campus of Penn State to celebrate the graduating scholar seniors included the acknowledgement of 23 finalists who were nominated for their distinguished efforts by faculty members.
The Schreyer Honors College Faculty Advisory Committee reviewed the nominations and recommended the 2017 award winners for the Paul Axt Prize, Sarah Newby; the Douglas G. and Regina C. Evans Award for Research Achievement, Danling Ye; and the Reddy Mission Award, Andrea Sylvia Biscoveanu and Margaret Featherstone. These recipients were presented with certificates and monetary awards by Schreyer Honors College interim Dean Kathleen Bieschke. An engraved Penn State lion statue was presented to Andrew Murphy, the senior winner of the Robert W. “Bear” Koehler Award, by Jeremy Frank.
The Paul Axt Prize is presented to a scholar who exemplifies the passionate commitment to inquiry that promotes high scholarly achievement and the intellectual curiosity and daring that lead to the development and pursuit of wide-ranging interests.
Newby graduated from Penn State in December 2016 with bachelor’s degrees in materials science and engineering and Chinese, balancing a challenging slate in hard sciences with global interests. She received a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State and won an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the Penn State Department of Material Sciences and Engineering.
Le, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in veterinary and biomedical sciences, was selected as the 2017 Evans Research Achievement Award winner. This award recognizes the graduating Schreyer Scholar who accomplished the single, most extraordinary research achievement. Her laboratory analysis comparing the Y chromosomes in humans and apes and the implications on infertility was published in a leading genome research journal.
The Reddy Mission Award was established to honor a graduating Schreyer Scholar who best exemplifies all three parts of the honors college mission: academic excellence, globalization and civic engagement.
Biscoveanu received Barry Goldwater Scholarship Award and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award during her time at Penn State and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. She will pursue gravitational wave research at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, through a Fulbright Postgraduate Grant next year, then attend MIT to pursue a doctorate in physics. Featherstone conducted a research project in Granada, Spain, on language variation, which served as the foundation of her honors thesis. She was the president of Project Haiti, a student organization which raises funding for an orphanage, village and hospice in Haiti.
Murphy was selected as the winner Robert W. “Bear” Koehler Award. Showing the generosity that Koehler was known for, Murphy led fundraising efforts that generated more than $3,000 for the Penn State club cross country team and was both a communications captain and supply logistics captain for THON, organizing events such as a toy drive for cancer patients at Hershey Children’s Hospital.
As a symbol of mentorship, the Koehler Award also recognizes a first- or second-year Schreyer Scholar from the Smeal College of Business and the award for 2017 will be made in Murphy’s name.
The Schreyer Honors College promotes academic excellence with integrity, the building of a global perspective, and creation of opportunities for leadership and civic engagement. Schreyer Honors Scholars, including Gateway Scholars admitted after their first or second year of enrollment, total more than 1,800 students at University Park and 20 Commonwealth campuses. They represent the top 2 percent of students at Penn State who excel academically and lead on campus.