Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award recipients announced

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries and the Schreyer Honors College announced the ninth annual Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award recipients on May 29, following the three finalists’ remote presentations:

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

A recording of the finalists’ presentations is available online.

Award recipients were selected by a jury of Penn State faculty, who included:

  • Diane Zabel, Benzak Business Librarian and head of the Schreyer Business Library
  • Bill Brockman, Paterno Family Librarian for Literature
  • Carmen Cole, Sally W. Kalin Librarian for Learning Innovations and Information Sciences and business liaison librarian
  • Briana Ezray, research data librarian–STEM
  • Kat Phillips, nursing and allied health librarian
  • Elizabeth Parfitt, associate teaching professor, Department of English
  • Andrea Pritt, STEM librarian, Penn State Harrisburg Library
  • Nonny Schlotzhauer, University Libraries interim head of humanities and social sciences

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 16, 2020