Before a crowd of family, friends and campus community members, Penn State Brandywine honored students and faculty for their accomplishments and merit in academia at its annual Academic Recognition Ceremony on Monday, April 14.
Nearly 200 undergraduates earned the Academic Achievement Award, which recognizes students with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher. Several students and faculty were also honored for their wide-ranging contributions to the campus, undergraduate research efforts and service to the campus community.
The Undergraduate Research Award, presented to a Brandywine student for their undergraduate research achievements, was bestowed upon senior psychology major Megan Draper. The Springfield native recently traveled to distant areas of the tropical rain forest of Borneo, taking part in a seven-week research journey where she studied the wild population of primates in the region.
Associate Professor of Engineering Ivan Esparragoza was honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award, which recognizes a member of the Brandywine faculty for their exceptional teaching. As is tradition, last year's Distinguished Teacher, Professor of Mathematics Charles Helou, presented Esparragoza with the award.
"He has the ability to make students want to learn," said Helou, as he read students' nominations of Esparragoza to the audience. "He's the best professor I have had at Berks, Brandywine and University Park. The methods he uses are simple and practical."
Students Jesse Jurden and Rebecca Slomowitz were presented the President Sparks Award, received by undergraduates who have earned a 4.00 cumulative GPA based on at least 36 Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall term.
The President's Freshman Award was presented to Arnetia Carroll, Lazina Chowdhury, Genevieve Fridman, Marykate Macdonald, Pallavi Sindhu, Shannon Wright and Shelby Wright. This award is presented to freshmen who have earned a 4.00 cumulative GPA based on at least 12 credits completed by the end of the fall semester.
Named after Penn State's first president, the Evan Pugh Scholar Award is bestowed upon juniors and seniors who are in the upper 0.5 percent of their classes and have completed at least 48 graded credits by the end of the fall term. This year's recipient was Nicholas Vico.
The Randall S. Stout Award, established in memory of long-time Penn State professor of economics Randall S. Stout, was presented to senior Brooke Sennott for her superior academic performance and outstanding involvement in the bachelor of science in business program at Penn State Brandywine.
Part-time Instructor in Communication Arts and Sciences Christopher McGrath was awarded the Part-Time Faculty Award, presented to a part-time faculty member who makes an outstanding contribution to students through exceptional teaching.
"He has a positive, can-do attitude and a cooperative spirit with everyone he encounters whether dealing with students, faculty or staff," explained Assistant Director of Academic Affairs Patricia Hillen as she introduced McGrath.
To view or order photos from the event, visit Third Eye Productions online or call 215-635-1988.