Student Achievements and Awards


More information on the scholarships, awards and fellowships can be found here:

Scholarships and Awards


Spring 2020 CBMG Honors and Awards


Undergraduate Student Awards


ELIANA HERMAN

Recipient of the Arne P. Hansen CBMG Honors Thesis Award

CBMG Departmental High Honors

Thesis Title: "Biosynthesis and Role of ACC vs. Ethylene in Marsilea vestita"

Mentors: Dr. Caren Chang and Dr. Stephen Mount

BSCI Specialization: Cell Biology & Genetics

 

Dr. Chang's comments on Eliana: "Eliana brought a specific idea of what she wanted to study in my lab, utilizing sequence data she was generating in Dr. Stephen Mount's lab for the fern Marsilea vestita and applying this new knowledge to wet bench experiments in my lab. She was the driver of her research from start to finish, and her honors thesis is the outstanding product of her exceptional efforts."


ALEXANDRA SCHNEIDER

Recipient of the Outstanding CBMG Undergraduate Award

CBMG Departmental High Honors

Thesis Title: "Characterizing eEF2 mutations for altered translational fidelity and proteostatic stress"

Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Dinman

BSCI Specialization: Cell Biology & Genetics

 

Dr. Dinman's comments on Lexie: "Lexie joined the Dinman lab two and half years ago and rapidly mastered the techniques of molecular biology and yeast genetics. She regularly spent over 30 hours per week in the lab, and truly devoted herself to the research and to mastering the literature. The data she produced and analyzed are flawless and will be the centerpiece of a publication."


SHAVIN THOMAS

CBMG Departmental High Honors

Thesis Title: "Guiding gene-specific methylation of histones in C. elegans"

Mentor: Dr. Antony Jose

BSCI Specialization: Physiology & Neurobiology

 

Dr. Jose's comments on Shavin: "Shavin is a source of positive energy for our group and a dynamo at the bench. Thanks to his fearless independence, his project has not turned from a vague idea into an active direction in the lab."


ALEXANDER LAURENSON

 

Recipient of the Appleman-Norton Plant Biology Award

Mentor: Dr. Charles Delwiche

BSCI Specialization: Cell Biology & Genetics

 

Dr. Delwiche's comments on Alexander: "He has been a hard worker in my lab for four full years, and has done a really interesting project on how single celled dinoflagellates respond to changes in light. He's been doing this -- and finishing his bachelors -- while also working as an EMT for Prince George's County, so he's out there on the front lines whiles we are all sheltering in place. I can also say that his thesis ended up involving a lot of complex statistics that I know he didn't want to have to learn, but knuckled down and did a great job with it."


COLIN FIELDS

 

Recipient of the Outstanding CBMG Undergraduate Award

Mentor: Dr. Daniel Stein

BSCI Specialization: Microbiology

 

Dr. Stein's comments on Colin: "Colin is the most complete undergraduate I have interacted with in years. He was somehow able to balance three research projects, maintain an exceptional GPA while double-majoring in Biochemistry and Microbiology (with a minor in Astronomy), find time to be an undergraduate Teaching Assistant in Virology and Organic Chemistry and squeeze in exceptional leadership skills, captaining two different intermural soccer teams and an intermural futsal (a type of indoor soccer) team.


Initiation of New Sigma Alpha Omicron (SAO)


EVA AGOSTINO

BSCI Specialization: General Biology

 

Eva is a General Biology major with a focus in microbiology entering the final semester of her undergraduate education. For the past two years, she has been an active member of an FDA research lab studying pathogenic E. coli outbreaks and is excited to start research in an academic virology lab in the fall. Eva has made the most out of her undergraduate experience by also pursuing interests in humanities through her History minor, multidisciplinary Honors seminars in the University of Maryland Honors College, and here study abroad experiences in Spain and England. She enjoys giving back to the University of Maryland community as a UMD Campus Tour Guide and through involvement in community service student organizations.


JOSHUA PICKENS

BSCI Specialization: Microbiology

 

In Joshua's sophomore year, he had a large setback in his academic career. A motorcycle accident on campus that caused him to have short term brain loss and he had to repeat a semester and Organic Chemistry. However, he fought through his adversity and now works as a microbiologist at a lab for Emergent Biosolutions! Joshua is truly putting his microbiology degree to good use.


Graduate Student Awards


FUXI WANG

Recipient of the Carroll E. Cox Award

Lab: Dr.Zhongchi Liu

Project Title: "Investigating Arabidopis meristem development by studying a genetic suppressor of tso 1"

BISI Specialization: Molecular and Cellular Biology (MOCB)

 

Fuxi Wang is currently a fifth-year BISI-MOCB student. Her PhD research investigates how cell cycle regulation is coordinated with stem cell maintenance in Arabidopsis, a flowering plant. Fuxi has identifies and characterized a cell cycle regulator (CYCA3;4), whose mutation can suppress the over-proliferation of stem cells exhibited by mutants of TSO1, a member of a conserved transcription complex DREAM. Her research directly links key cell cycle components with stem cell regulators, providing mechanistic insights into stem cell maintenance. Fuxi thinks critically and analytically with attention to detail. She is generous with her time in guiding undergraduate students and contributed to several collaborative projects. The Carroll E. Cox award recognizes her research excellence in plant biology.


REZIA BRAZA

Recipient of the MOCB-BISI M. Zain-Ul-Abedin Memorial Scholarship Award

Lab: Dr. Kevin McIver

Project Title: "Functional Analysis of a Group A Streptococcal Lous Important for Fitness in Soft Tissue"

BISI Specialization: Molecular and Cellular Biology (MOCB) / Host-Pathogen Interactions (HPI)

 

Rezia Era Braza is a 4th-year student in the MOCB concentration area of the BISI graduate program. She immigrated from the Philippines as a young teenager and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. from Morgan State University. Rezia was a trainee on the NIH Host-Pathogen Interactions (HPI) graduate training grant, was awarded the Isabel R. McDonald Service Award, and currently holds a prestigious NIH/NIAID F31 Diversity Pre-doctoral Fellowship. Her research in the McIver laboratory focuses on understanding how the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus) obtains critical nutrients during infection that impact the outcome of disease. Rezia's work has resulted in a first author manuscript in Infection and Immunity in 2019 and co-authorship on a paper in Frontiers in Cell Infection and Microbiology in 2018.


ALEXANDER SIMON

Recipient of the Andrew J. Moyer Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Lab: Dr. Jose Feijo

Project Title: "Molecular Evolution and Biophysical Characterization of Plant Glutamate Receptors"

BISI Specialization: Physiological Systems (PSYS)

 

Alex is an extremely dedicated and hard-working graduate student, with elevated sense of responsibility, commitment to his project and endless curiosity about science. In accordance, he excelled in many ways, from sorting out the optimization of mammalian COS7 cells system expression plant ion channels that became an international reference in the field, to experimental records published on top shelf journals and relevant conceptual thinking that made it to seminal reviews about ion signaling and biophysics. Last but not least, Alex is the ultimate team player, always ready to help and collaborate, and someone which makes everyone happy just for being around.

 


Spring 2019 CBMG Honors and Awards

Initiation of New Sigma Alpha Omicron (SAO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vincent Lee (left), Laura Maria Wilke, Anna B. Seminara, Emily Morgan, Avinaash Kaur Sandhu, Jason Lynch.  

Recognition of Graduation CBMG Honors Students

Congratulations to our graduating CBMG Honors undergraduates for successfully defending their theses! Shown from L to R: Dr. Louisa Wu, Hannah Bress (Honors), Dr. Jon Dinman, Lyra Morina (Honors), Anna Seminara (High Honors) and Dr. Vincent Lee.

CBMG Outstanding Student Award

Dr. Norman Laffer Scholarship

Graduate Student Awards

 

Congratulations to our graduating CBMG Honors undergraduates for successfully defending their theses! 

 

Shown from L to R: Lyra Morina (Fritz Lab), Hannah Bress (Dinman Lab), Anna Seminara (Lee Lab), Uzair Ahtesham (Chang Lab), Jessica Kan (Mount Lab) (not shown).


Spring 2016 CBMG Undergraduate Senior Awards

Students completing CBMG Honors Research

 

Congratulations to our graduating CBMG Honors undergraduates for successfully defending their theses! 

Shown from L to R: Shane Falcinelli (Briken lab), Monika Looney (Jose lab), Charlotte Francoeur (Wu lab), Amelia Stephens (Winkler lab), Lakshmi Kirkire (Pick lab), Eric Zhou (Lee lab), Katie Metz (Delwiche lab), John Paul Ouyang (Chang lab).


May 2015 CBMG Undergraduate Senior Awards

Arne P. Hansen Award for CBMG Honors Program Outstanding Thesis

 

Sarah Helman (right) is graduating Magna Cum Laude in BSCI- Cell Biology & Genetics. She earned High Honors for her research in the lab of Dr. Vince Lee (left).


 

CBMG Outstanding Student Award

 

 

Evguenia Morgun (left) is graduating Magna Cum Lauda in BSCI- Cell Biology & Genetics. She earned High Honors for her research in the lab of Dr. Najib ElSayed (right).

 

CBMG Outstanding Student Award

 

Kai-Li Liang (left) is graduating Magna Cum Laude in BSCI-Microbiology with a minor in Global Poverty. Kai earned High Honors for his research in the lab of Dr. Richard Stewart (right).

 

 

Appleman-Norton Award for Plant Biology

 

Ira Herniter (left) is graduating in BSCI- Cell Biology & Genetics. He earned Honors for his research was in the lab of Dr. Zhongchi Liu (right).



Students completing CBMG Honors Research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students completing their multiple semesters of research, seminars and honors thesis defense in the CBMG departmental honors program are from the left*:

  1. Steven Klupt “Towards development of tools for live cell imaging of metabolite dynamics” (Dr. Winkler)
  2. Patrick Curry “Characterization of CpsY: A putative transcriptional regulator linked to virulence in group A Streptococcus (Dr. McIver)
  3. Ira Herniter “Determining the function of two novel microRNAs and the effect of GA on transformation in diploid strawberry Fragaria vesca (Dr. Liu)
  4. Michael Kleymen “Using Machine Learning to Analyze Splicing Signals in Plants” (Dr. Mount)

 *Note: Research mentors are behind them in the back row.


 

Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

Undergraduate students who served as undergraduate teaching assistants were recognized for their multi-term service and excellence in teaching. From left to right are:

MyLinh Vu, Nick Todd, Dr. Patricia Shields, Myrissa Carter and Will Still



Initiates for the Sigma Alpha Omicron Microbiology Honor Society

New initiates are front from left:

 

Naomi Cole, Shane Falcinelli, Erin McCaffrey, Suk-Jun Moon, Theresa Katharina Talalai, Officers of the UMD ASM Microbiology Honor Society welcoming the initiates are (starting 4th from right) Emily DeBoy, Gary Soroosh and Yaniv Kazansky. Dr. Vince Lee (far right) is the faculty advisor for the ASM chapter.

 


May 2015 CBMG Graduate Student Awards

Isabel MacDonald Award

Keith Hughitt was recognized for his service to the BISI graduate program. Keith is a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Xiaoping Zhu. Dr. McIver (right), director of the MOCB area of BISI is presenting the award.


Caroline E. Cox Award

Micki Kuhlmann was recognized by the Cox award for her research in the field of plant biology. Micki is a Ph. D. student in the lab of Dr. Anne Simon. Micki’s husband (left) attended the ceremony.


 

Andrew J. Moyer Award

Laura Dillon (left) was recognized for her outstanding Ph.D research she is completing in the lab of Dr. Najib ElSayed (right)

 




Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

Ashley Nazarios Toole, Rachel Godbout and John Clay (left to right) were nominated by faculty and recognized for their excellent work with faculty and students as graduate teaching assistants.





May 2014 CBMG Undergraduate Senior Awards

Arne P. Hansen Award for CBMG Honors Program Outstanding Thesis

Rachel Evans

Rachel (left) is graduating Magna Cum Laude in BSCI- Microbiology. She earned High Honors for her research in the lab of Dr. Najib ElSayed (right). Rachel’s project focused upon identifying differential expressed genes in different strains of the parasiteTrypanosoma cruzi using RNAsequ.

CBMG Outstanding Student Award

Elfalem is graduating with a double major in BSCI- Microbiology and Computer Science. His research was in the lab of Dr. Sridhar Hannenhalli dealing with analyzing variability in gene expression across different individuals and tissues, along with two other projects. 




CBMG Outstanding Student Award

Soriayah (right) is graduating in BSCI-GenB with a minor in Arabic. Her research was in the lab of Dr. Antony Jose (left) on inter-tissue signaling through RNA silencing.



Appleman-Norton Award for Plant Biology

Kalyani is graduating Magna Cum Laude in BSCI- Cell Biology & Genetics. Her research was in the lab of Dr. Anne Simon on long distance RNA-RNA interactions in Saguaro cactus virus and ribosome binding sites in Turnip Crinkle virus.


Students completing CBMG Honors Research

Students completing their multiple semesters of research, seminars and honors thesis defense  (their faculty research mentor) are from the left:

Sonal Patel (Dr. Steve Mount), Tyler Thrasher (Dr. Jon Dinman), Kalyani Kumar (Dr. Anne Simon), Darshan Patel (Dr. Vince Lee), and Rachel Evans (Dr. Najib ElSayed).  Dr. Zhongchi Liu (far right) is the director of the CBMG honors research program. 

 

Initiates for the Sigma Alpha Omicron Microbiology Honor Society

New initiates are front from left: Nadia Kadry, Rachel Evans, Elizabeth Partan rear from left: Kai-li Liang; rear from right: Samuel Barnett and Jonathan Hedricks. Officers of the UMD ASM Microbiology Honor Society welcoming the initiates are Frank Cao (2nd from left, rear)  and Dan Frank (front right) 



 


May 2014 CBMG Graduate Student Awards

2014 Center for Teaching Excellence Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards

 

Phil (right) and Carolina (left) are two of the three graduate recognized by CTE for outstanding work with faculty and students as graduate teaching assistants. 



Isabel MacDonald Award

 

Susan Park was recognized for her service to the BISI graduate program. Susan is a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Xiaoping Zhu.




Caroline E. Cox Award

 

Rachel was recognized by the Cox award for her research in the field of plant biology. Rachel is a Ph. D. student in the lab of Dr. Zhongchi Liu

 



Andrew J. Moyer Award

 

Heather was recognized for her outstanding research as she completed her Ph.D research in the lab of Dr. David Mosser