MEDIA, Pa. — Penn State Brandywine honored students and faculty for their achievements and excellence in academia at its annual Academic Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday, April 10.
Nearly 250 students earned the Academic Achievement Award, which recognizes those who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Additional awards were bestowed upon students and faculty for their extraordinary teaching contributions to the campus, undergraduate research performance and elite academic accomplishments.
The D’Iorio Family Research Award, given to a Brandywine student for their undergraduate research achievements, was presented to junior biology major Madeline Malfara for her work developing tools to genetically modify specific proteins in the parasite Crithidia fasiculata to better understand their function. Malfara also was recently awarded first place for her research at Brandywine’s annual Exhibition of Undergraduate Research Enterprise and Creative Accomplishment. Her faculty mentor is Megan Povelones, assistant professor of biology.
“The fact that Maddie is able to fully understand and help troubleshoot this complicated system demonstrates her intellectual ability and commitment to the project,” said Assistant Professor of Biology Mick Yoder as he introduced Malfara. “She is essentially operating at the level of a beginning graduate student, demonstrated by her understanding of the scientific literature, critical-thinking about her experiments, and the interpretation of her results.”
Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences Angela Putman was honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award, which recognizes a full-time faculty member for their exceptional teaching and contributions to the campus.
"Dr. Putman is the most encouraging teacher I have ever known. She takes a personal interest in the growth and success of every student,” said Coordinator of Brandywine Learning Christine Brown, as she read students' nominations of Putman to the audience. “Dr. Putman makes classes challenging and amusing. She’s hands down my favorite professor at Brandywine.”
Vanesa Palermo, part-time instructor in arts and humanities, received the Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty, given to a part-time faculty member who makes an outstanding contribution to students and the academic community through exceptional teaching.
“Vanesaa has been teaching Spanish to our students for over 12 years,” said Assistant Director of Academic Affairs Patricia Hillen as she introduced Palermo. “She is pleasant, passionate and inspiring. She makes time for everyone, and her love for what she does is contagious.”
Marco DeAngelo, Parnika Kapur, Adi Yom-Tov, Abdalmajeed Iyoun, and Kaitlyn Otte were presented the President Sparks Award, received by undergraduates who have earned a 4.00 cumulative GPA based on at least 36 credits completed by the end of the fall semester.
This year, the President's Freshman Award was presented to 27 freshmen. This award is presented to freshmen students who have earned a 4.00 cumulative GPA based on at least 12 credits completed by the end of the fall semester and have not exceeded 35 credits.