Schreyer Honors College

Penn State students named finalists for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award

Public oral presentations May 4 to determine winner of $1,250 prize

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Schreyer Honors College Scholars Aviva Doery, Samuel Lapp and Alexander Walsh were selected as finalists for the 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award. The three graduating seniors will participate in a public oral presentation to be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.
The three finalists will present their individual thesis with a brief summary and conclusions and will answer questions from the audience. The 2017 finalists include:

  • Aviva Doery, international politics, global and international studies, for "The Lives of Lesbian Women in Berlin Before and Beyond the Rise of the Nazis 1933-1945";
  • Samuel Lapp, engineering science, for "Modeling Intonation in Non-Western Musical Cultures"; and
  • Alexander Walsh, mechanical engineering, for "Effects of Extrusion Temperature and Printer Nozzle Speed on the Tensile Properties of 3D Printed Polylactic Acid."

The annual competition includes a review of the submitted theses by a faculty jury and a public oral presentation by the students chosen as finalists. It provides an opportunity to fully appreciate the academic quality of Penn State students and the depth of their undergraduate research.

The University Libraries initiated this award as a way to emphasize the importance of utilizing quality research methods and employing a thorough understanding of the legal and ethical issues related to the use of information - both key components of academic excellence. For Schreyer Scholars, the thesis is the capstone of their honors experience at Penn State. This competition recognizes the discerning inquiry and diligent research undertaken by the scholars in preparation of the completion of each thesis.

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 October 11, 2017