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2016 Student National Award Winners

Each year, University of Rochester students earn awards and scholarships in recognition of their academic achievements.
We are proud to highlight several of this year’s recipients as they prepare to make the world ever better through their teaching, research, and community-building efforts.

A-Z list of our featured student award winners

Fulbright Awards

University of Rochester students will pursue advanced studies, conduct research, and teach English abroad after being selected to receive grants from the highly competitive Fulbright international educational exchange program.

LEARN MORE: Fulbright scholars pursue opportunities abroad

Alice Chen

Alice Chen

Alice Chen '16

Hometown: Bradford, Pennsylvania
Major: Anthroplogy and biology
Alice will be leaving in August for Taiwan to teach English to elementary and junior high school students.

Kate Cowie-Haskell

Kate Cowie-Haskell

Kate Cowie-Haskell ‘16

Hometown: Marshfield, Massachusetts
Major: Anthropology
Kate leaves in August for Bulgaria, where she will live for 1-2 years and work as an English teacher at a high school. She hopes to get involved as a mentor for a high school English-language performance group, learn more about local agriculture and play for a Bulgarian ultimate frisbee team.

Jennifer Dombroski

Jennifer Dombroski

Jennifer Dombroski ‘16

Hometown: Ontario, New York
Major: Linguistics
Jennifer heads to Germany this fall to teach English. She’s looking forward to challenging students’ perceptions of how language works, and to being their guide to American culture.

Dominic Giardino

Dominic Giardino

Dominic Giardino ‘16

Hometown: Key West, Florida
Major: Applied Music (clarinet performance)
Dominic’s year of study at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, Netherlands, will focus on 18th and 19th century performance practices. He will be directly applying this research to performing on historical clarinets.

Emmaline Heiken

Emmaline Heiken

Emmaline Heiken

Hometown: Eugene, Oregon
Major: Public Health (health, behavior and society)
Emmaline will travel to Colombia in August to act as a cultural ambassador for the United States on an English teaching assistantship.

Jonathan Johnson

Jonathan Johnson

Jonathan Johnson

Hometown: Beverly Hills, Florida
Major: Anthropology and Political Science
Jonathan began his Fulbright tenure this past January in Malaysia, where he worked as an English Teaching Assistant at SMK Matang, a rural school of about 500 students.

Bridget Kinneary

Bridget Kinneary

Bridget Kinneary ‘15

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Major: Viola Performance and Music Education
Bridget is heading to Germany, where she will teach English.

Madeleine Laitz

Madeleine Laitz

Madeleine Laitz ‘16

Hometown: Rochester, New York
Major: Chemical engineering
Madeleine will spend the upcoming school year earning a master’s degree in green chemistry at Imperial College in London, England. She’ll work in the Energy Futures Lab with Professor Anthony Kucernak on developing ultra-thin, flexible fuel cells small enough to power a laptop.

Sarah Lamade

Sarah Lamade

Sarah Lamade ‘16

Hometown: South Williamsport, PA
Major: Anthropology and Linguistics
Sarah will be traveling to India to teach English for nine months. She also will be engaging with the community to understand the cultural values that surround using English as a second language.

Bailey Paugh

Bailey Paugh

Bailey Paugh ‘16

Hometown: Rapid City, South Dakota
Major: BM Applied Music (trumpet)
Bailey will be heading to Hamburg, Germany, in September. Pending her acceptance at the Hamburg School of Music and Theater, she will spend the next academic year studying trumpet performance there with renowned performer Matthias Höfs.

Katherine Tepper

Katherine Tepper

Katherine Tepper ‘16

Hometown: Niskayuna, New York
Major: International relations at Rochester, Voice at Eastman School of Music
Katherine will be pursuing a master's in International Affairs at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany, while also working on a research internship at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. She will give private voice and singing lessons in German baroque music ensembles and operas.


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Part of a federally sponsored program, NSF Research Fellowships provide up to three years of graduate study support for students pursuing doctoral or research-based master’s degrees.

Christopher Bates

Christopher Bates

Christopher Bates

Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana

Christopher is a first-year Ph.D candidate. He earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University

Jonathan Curtis

Jonathan Curtis

Jonathan Curtis ‘16

Hometown: Port Washington, New York
Major: Jonathan is a double major in physics and applied mathematics. His study this summer will center on physics research, and next year he will begin working toward his Ph.D. He ultimately plans a career in physics research

Brendan Marozas

Brendan Marozas

Brendan Marozas

Hometown: Rochester, New York

Brendan will be conducting material science research in Rochester and also at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California

Astrid Olivares

Astrid Olivares

Astrid Olivares

Hometown: Lancaster, California

Astrid is a second-year graduate student in the Ph.D program in the chemistry department. This summer, she will continue her research in chemistry at Rochester.

Ananya Sitaram

Ananya Sitaram

Ananya Sitaram ‘16

Hometown: Chatham, New Jersey
Major: Physics and mathematics
Ananya will be starting her Ph.D in atomic, molecular, and optical physics this fall. She will be conducting research on ultracold fermionic gases near the transition to a superfluid state.


Undergraduate Alumni NSF Fellows: (in graduate school elsewhere)


Critical Language Scholarship

The scholarship program is designed to support rigorous overseas language and cultural immersion programs for American undergraduate and graduate students in 13 languages. A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the scholarship is intended to help broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between people of the United States and other countries.

LEARN MORE: Critical Language Scholarships winners to study Turkish, Arabic

Fatima Bawany

Fatima Bawany

Fatima Bawany ‘16

Hometown: Rochester, New York
Major: Biology and religion
Fatima is heading to Meknes, Morocco, where she will be studying Arabic and Arab culture this summer.

Aaron Schaffer

Aaron Schaffer

Aaron Schaffer ‘16

Hometown: Rochester, New York
Major: International relations
Aaron is heading to Baku, Azerbaijan to study Turkish from June to August. He is a two-time CLS recipient and says he’s very eager to improve his language skills and return to Turkey

Saralinda Schell

Saralinda Schell

Saralinda Schell ‘19

Hometown: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Major: Computer science and international relations
Saralinda previously studied abroad in Gaziantep, Turkey and will continue to further her study of Turkish, this time in Baku, Azerbaijan. She leaves in early June and will spend up to three months there.


Davis Projects for Peace Fellowship

Davis Projects for Peace is a program created by philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis that provides support for student-initiated projects that advance the cause of peace. Rochester undergraduates are eligible to participate in the program because of the University’s status as a partner in the Davis United World College Scholars Program, which includes 91 American colleges and universities.

LEARN MORE: Two students receive Davis Projects for Peace grant

Ian Manzi

Ian Manzi

Ian Manzi ‘18

Hometown: Kacyiru, Kigali, Rwanda
Major: Data Science
Ian will spend the summer in his native land of Rwanda, where he and Derrick Murekezi will plan and set up all necessary components for a young leaders’ peace camp. The project is called Critical Thinking for Peace: Sustaining Peace in Post-Conflict Regions and reflects on the 1994 mass genocide in Rwanda.

Derrick Murekezi

Derrick Murekezi

Derrick Murekezi ‘19

Hometown: Kigali, Rwanda
Major: Geology
Derrick will spend the summer in his native land of Rwanda, where he and Ian Manzi will plan and set up all necessary components for a young leaders’ peace camp. The project is called Critical Thinking for Peace: Sustaining Peace in Post-Conflict Regions and reflects on the 1994 mass genocide in Rwanda.


Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Goldwater Scholarships are awarded to college students who intend to pursue research careers in the sciences, mathematics, or engineering.

Molly Finn

Molly Finn

Molly Finn ‘17

Hometown: Marshalltown, Iowa
Major: Physics and Astronomy
Molly will leave in July for a semester abroad in New Zealand to study environmental science as part of her Take 5 program. The research involves looking for stellar companions to members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association, the closest association of stars with recent/ongoing massive star formation.

Tanveer Karim

Tanveer Karim

Tanveer Karim ‘17

Hometown: Queens, New York
Major: Physics & Astronomy
Tanveer will spend the summer conducting research on extra-galactic astrophysics at the Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket, Massachusetts.


DAAD-RISE

The highly competitive RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) program is sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, known by its German initials as DAAD. Rochester students will pursue science and engineering internships this summer at prominent research institutions in Germany.

LEARN MORE: Record number of students earn summer research scholarships in Germany

Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey ‘17

Hometown: West Hartford, Connecticut
Major: Chemistry
Austin will be conducting research in carbon nanotube photophysics at the University of Heidelberg.

Raymond Chin

Raymond Chin

Raymond Chin ‘18

Hometown: New York City
Major: Biomedical engineering
Raymond will work at the University of Leipzig, where his project will focus on 3-D matrix engineering.

Eric Holmgren

Eric Holmgren

Eric Holmgren ‘17

Hometown: Elgin, Illinois
Major: Chemical engineering
Eric will be traveling to the Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz for the summer to conduct research on the behaviors of charges at the solid-liquid interface using scanning force microscopy.

Haberly Kahn

Haberly Kahn

Haberly Kahn ‘18

Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts
Major: Chemical engineering
Haberly will be working at the Hamburg University of Technology, assisting in research for a chemical looping process which is an alternative combustion process.

Natalie Jara

Natalie Jara

Natalie Jara ‘18

Hometown: Monroe, New York
Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Natalie will be traveling to Freiburg, where she will be doing research in microelectromechanical implantable devices at the Institute of Microsystems Engineering— University of Freiburg.

Marina May

Marina May

Marina May ‘17

Hometown: Mount Sinai, New York
Major: Biomedical engineering
Marina will be working at a chemical engineering research lab at Technische Universität Berlin (Technical University of Berlin). She will investigate how controlled micro-aeration can assist in nanomembrane cleaning and fouling.

William Porter

William Porter

William Porter ‘17

Hometown: Chardon, Ohio
Major: Chemical Engineering
William leaves in May to participate in a 12-week research program in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He will be investigating reaction and process monitoring using low-field NMR spectroscopy.

Ge Song

Ge Song

Ge Song ‘17

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia
Major: Biomedical engineering
Ge is heading to Erlangen, Germany, where he will be investigating the light propagation in cutaneous tissue using photoelastrophy and constructing optical setup to perform photoelastrophy.

Clara Wolfe

Clara Wolfe

Clara Wolfe ’18

Hometown: Roxbury, Connecticut
Major: Biochemistry
Clara will spend the summer in Magdeburg, conducting biology research involving inflammation and programmed cell death.


Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

LEARN MORE: Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez ’16 named Gates Cambridge scholar

Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez

Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez

Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez ‘16

Hometown: Panama City, Panama
Major: Optical engineering
Pedro is heading to Cambridge this fall to pursue an MPhil in Biotechnology. He will work with Professor Clemens Kaminski’s laser analytics group to discover new tradeoffs between optical and digital complexity in super resolution microscopy.


Princeton in Asia Fellowship

The essence of PiA is to provide transformative, service-oriented experiences for bright, talented graduates and to serve the needs of Asia as determined by host institutions and Asian partners.

Annina Zheng-Hardy

Annina Zheng-Hardy

Annina Zheng-Hardy ‘16

Hometown: Buffalo, New York
Major: Political science
Annina is heading to Wuhan, China, to teach at Wuhan University of Technology for a year. She’s excited to immerse herself in the life of university students in a city known as a melting pot of Chinese cuisine and culture.


Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship

The goal of the PPIA Fellowship Program is to help students achieve a Master’s or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field

Christian Wooddell

Christian Wooddell

Christian Wooddell ‘17

Hometown:St. Louis, Missouri
Major: Anthropology
Christian will attend the Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He will take classes focused on quantitative, analytical and communications skills alongside 19 peers from across the country who are also interested in serving the public good.


Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship

The Rangel Program is a collaborative effort between Howard University and the U.S. State Department that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State.

Justine King

Justine King

Justine King ‘15

Hometown: Middletown, New York
Major: International relations
Justine will intern this summer for a member of Congress on Capitol Hill, working on foreign affairs issues. In the summer of 2017, she will intern in a U.S. Embassy abroad in preparation for a career in the foreign service. Justine will pursue a master's in International and Intercultural Communication at American University in the fall.


National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

The scholarship program is designed to increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities.

Allison Laubach

Allison Laubach

Allison Laubach ‘18

Hometown: Milton, New York
Major: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Allison will leave this summer for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland to learn about research goals. In the summer of 2017, she will be at one of many NOAA research facilities across the country, working on atmospheric science research.

Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program

This social justice program trains, inspires, and sustains leaders. Fellows gain experience fighting hunger and poverty through placements in community-based organizations across the country, and policy experience through placements in Washington, D.C.

Alysha Alani)

Alysha Alani ’15 (Take Five ’16)

Alysha Alani ’15 (Take Five ’16)

Hometown: Rochester, New York
Major: Anthropology and Spanish
Alysha will be heading to Seattle, where she’ll work with the United Way of King County’s financial stability team. Her project will include evaluating the impact of policy changes that have resulted in a loss of income for low-income people.


Fulbright UK Summer Institutes Scholarship Program

The program is for freshmen and sophomores and offers a summer academic and cultural experience at one of nine sites around the UK.

Graeme McGuire ‘16

Graeme McGuire ‘16

Graeme McGuire ‘16

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Major: Linguistics and computer science
Graeme is the fourth University student selected for the UKSI program and will be the second to participate in the Wales Summer Institute.


Whitaker International Fellowship

This program sends young Biomedical Engineers anywhere outside the U.S. or Canada for one or more of the following activities: conducting academic or scientific research in a university or laboratory, pursuing coursework at an academic institution or interning at a policy institute, or in an industrial or non-profit setting

Jacob Gusman ‘16

Jacob Gusman ‘16

Jacob Gusman ‘16

Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts
Major: Biomedical engineering.
Jacob will undertake a year-long research project at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden


Rotary Global Grant Scholarship

This program funds service projects, as well as masters and doctoral studies, for individuals and groups working on humanitarian issues that closely align with Rotary’s mission and mandate.

Graeme McGuire ‘16

Garrett Rubin

Garrett Rubin ‘12E, Take 5 ‘13

Hometown: Roseville, California
Major: Voice performance (Eastman) and U.S.-Middle Eastern Cultural Diplomacy (Take 5)
Having managed education in emergency programs for displaced Syrian children since 2013, Garrett is headed to the University of Cambridge, where he will join the new MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development.