Department of Biology Holds Annual Awards Ceremony

Posted on 4/22/2019 10:17:16 AM

At the 2019 Department of Biology awards ceremony on April 12, students were recognized for academic, service, and research achievements, and a variety of departmental scholarships and awards were presented in front of an audience of students, faculty, staff, friends, and family.

The first awards presented were departmental scholarships and academic recognition awards:

  • Walter “Bud” Gasdek Memorial Scholarship: Luke Gray, Dan Dudek
  • Samuel Mitrovich Scholarship: Bo Putt, Kathleen Dougherty, Esbeiry Cordova-Ortiz, Gerneleh Paye, Rebecca Bailey
  • Thomas Smyth Memorial Scholarship: Morgan Eytcheson
  • Cynthia Sushak Fund: Esbeiry Cordova-Ortiz, Gerneleh Paye, Rebecca Bailey, Tori Swartz, Megan Keyser
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists Outstanding Student: Rebekah Mikeasky
  • Alma Elizabeth Boyd Memorial Scholarship: Margaret Blaetz
  • Biology Outstanding Student: Ayla Ross

Elliot Hicks, Victoria Maziarz, and Jeannie Showers were recognized for the peer tutoring they provided in support of the Biology Student Resource Facility.

Also recognized were upper-class biology students who have served as student mentors to incoming biology majors as part of the Biology Mentoring program:

  • Alyssa Bourne
  • Dakota Bowes
  • Latrice Burkett
  • Zahra Cepeda
  • Allison Crowell
  • Bryne Cunningham
  • Aubrey Ernest
  • Morgan Glasser
  • Hannah Hale
  • Gwen Himes
  • Tara Kenna
  • Stacey Leverette
  • Ryan Lichenwalner
  • Anna Manges
  • Delaney Martin
  • Victoria Maziarz
  • Breanna McGhee
  • Gerneleh Paye
  • Ayla Ross
  • Alexa Smith
  • Clayton Vasey

Certificates of achievement were given to the students who have completed the 2018–19 Biology Undergraduate Research Experience, including: 

  • Sean Becker (advisor: Thomas Simmons)
  • Olivia Kalimon (advisor: Daniel Widzowski)
  • Anna Manges (advisor: Tom Simmons)
  • Brad O’Hara (advisor: Joseph Duchamp)
  • Dakota Shaffer (advisor: Jeffery Larkin)
  • Peter Stapleford (advisor: Robert Majors)
  • Tori Swartz (advisor: Cuong Diep)
  • Aaron Wolfe (advisor: Michael Tyree)

And the incoming 2019–20 BURE students were announced for the projects they intend to complete:

  • Rebecca Bailey (advisor: Paul Nealen): Survivability of the Rehabilitated Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger vulpinus
  • Kathleen Dougherty (advisor: Ellen Yerger): Invasive and Native Plant Contributions to the Insectivorous Food Web
  • Sarah Grandinette (advisor: Cuong Diep): Expression of R1 Peptide Under Heat Shock Promoter in Zebrafish
  • Alexa Hershberger (advisor: David Janetski): Macroinvertebrate Community Recovery from Abandoned Mine Remediation in Bear Run Watershed, Indiana, PA
  • Jeffery Larkin (advisor: Joseph Duchamp): An analysis of Habitat Associations of Three Bird Species in Riparian Forests of Pennsylvania
  • Victoria Maziarz (advisor: N. Bharathan): Comparison of Global Protein Expression of Wild and Mutant Isolates and the Identification of Infection Biomarkers of Rhizoctonia Solani
  • Christopher Morris (advisor: David Janetski): Recovery of Primary Producers from Coal Mine Remediation in Bear Run Watershed

Student Recognition Awards were given to the following students, in honor of the research presentations they have given:

  • Rebeccah Bailey
  • Tashi Bharathan
  • Margaret Blaetz
  • Tejas Mahadevan
  • Brandon Michalides
  • Rebekah Mikeasky
  • Christopher Pagan
  • Gerneleh Paye
  • Ayla Ross
  • Jeannie Showers

Biology graduate students who submitted successful departmental research proposals were recognized:

  • Kristen Bomboy
  • Brandon Cox
  • Morgan Eytcheson
  • Luke Gray
  • Antiva Ghuge
  • Mohammed Jaber
  • Codey Mathis
  • Tyler Maykovich
  • Halie Parker
  • Angela Spagnoli
  • Jenny Willis

Also celebrated were the biology graduate students who have been serving as temporary faculty instructors within Biology during 2018–19:

  • Tejas Mahadevan
  • Daniel Dudek
  • Kayley Weaver
  • Emily Welch
  • Shelby Zakrzewski

In addition to student awards, the Department honored David Janetski with the third annual Scholarship Service Award, given to a faculty member in honor of service performed in support of departmental scholarship.

Congratulations to all of the honorees and awardees!