Dean of Academic Life

Academic Life

Prestigious Awards Initiative

The Prestigious Awards Initiative seeks to assist undergraduates and recent graduates engage in a process of reflection upon their education, inside and outside the classroom, their values, and their life goals in order to enhance success in applying for opportunities that will enable them to realize their goals (e.g. nationally prestigious awards, graduate or professional study).

Opportunities include significant student research and presentation, study abroad, and meaningful volunteer and service-learning work.  The process acknowledges the different levels of readiness of students, from first year through postgraduate.  Included are many opportunities to work with faculty awards advisors and the Dean, including an intensive mock application and interview program during the Junior year, whose reward is a $1000 Presidential Scholarship.  Since the inception of the Initiative, over 150 awards, finalist statuses, and honorable mentions have been earned by Muhlenberg students and recent graduates.

Whether students receive an award or not, the process has helped all students get to know themselves better and present themselves better in future competitions and in postgraduate careers

Close work with faculty who teach, advise, and inspire these students is central to success. I deeply appreciate the extraordinary efforts of dedicated faculty in this enterprise, as they continue to work closely with students as classroom instructors, independent study research advisors, and award advisors.

2014 - 2015

J. William Fulbright - The Fulbright is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  The award subsidizes one year’s teaching or study abroad.  Chris Herrick, Political Science, is the advisor to the Fulbright

  • Melanie Ferrara '15.  Finalist.  Melanie majored in Philosophy & Political Thought and self-design in Gender & Sexuality.  She won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior.  She was a recipient of a Summer Research Grant in 2014.
  • Tyler McKechnie '14.  Recipient.  Tyler majored in Neuroscience and Theatre. 

National Science Foundation - The NSF awards $30,000 per year, plus $10,500 cost-of-education allowance to students embarking on graduate study in the sciences.  Bruce Wightman, Biology, is the advisor to the NSF.

  • Hudson Roth ’14.  Honorable Mention.  Hudson was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He majored in Chemistry. 
  • Jaclyn Durkin ’13.  Recipient.  Jaclyn was a Dana Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  She majored in Neuroscience and minored in Mathematics.  She was awarded a Muhlenberg Dean’s Summer Research Grant in 2012.
  • Amanda Meier ’13.  Recipient.  Amanda was a Muhlenberg Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  She majored in Biology and Environmental Science.  She was a Goldwater Recipient in 2012 and an Honorable Mention in 2011.  Amanda was also an Udall Honorable Mention in 2012 and was awarded a Muhlenberg Dean’s Summer Research Grant in 2011.  She was a winner of a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior in 2012.
  • Lucas Michelotti ’12.  Honorable Mention.  Lucas majored in Biology and Environmental Science. 

St. Andrew’s Society - The regional award carries a $22,000 stipend for one year’s study in Scotland.  Donna Kish-Goodling and Susan Norling, Office of Global Education, are the advisors to the St. Andrew’s.

  • Nicholas Cunningham ’17.  Recipient.  Nicholas is majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Public health.  He will study at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland next year.

Harry S. Truman - The Truman is a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study in preparation for a career in public service.   Students are chosen because of outstanding leadership potential.  Michele Moser Deegan, Political Science, is the advisor to the Truman. 

  • Erin Gistaro '16.  Finalist.  Erin is majoring in Political Science and American Studies.  She won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior.

 

2013 - 2014

Barry M. Goldwater - The program awards up to $7,500 annually for a maximum of two years to students with a demonstrated commitment to a career in science or math, excluding medical school.  Joseph Keane, Chemistry, is the advisor to the Goldwater.

  • James Custer, Jr. ’15.  Honorable Mention.  James is majoring in Chemistry and pursuing a minor in Mathematics. He is a Dana Scholar.
  • Macauley Breault ’15.  Honorable Mention.  Macauley is majoring in Physical Science and Mathematics.  She is a Dana Scholar.

J. William Fulbright - The Fulbright is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  There are teaching (ETA) Fulbrights and study Fulbrights.  The award subsidizes one year’s teaching or study abroad.  Chris Herrick, Political Science, is the advisor to the Fulbright.

  • Mallory Bernstein ’14.  Mallory majored in Chemistry and minored in Public Health.

James Madison - The program awards fellowships for master's degree level graduate study of the framing and history of the United States Constitution.  Lynda Yankaskas, History, is the current advisor to the Madison.  Daniel Wilson, History, assisted with the mock application during the student's Junior year.

  • Evan McLaughlin ’10.  Evan majored in History.  He won a President's Award for Outstanding Acheivement and Promise for Postgraduate in 2009.

Harry S. Truman - The Truman is a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study in preparation for a career in public service. Students are chosen because of outstanding leadership potential. Michele Moser Deegan, Political Science, is the advisor to the Truman.

  • Melanie Ferrara ’15.  Finalist.  Melanie is majoring in Philosophy/Political Thought and a self-designed major in Gender & Sexuality.  She is a Dana Scholar.