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Eberly College of Science Outstanding Science Alumni

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Four alumni of the Penn State University Eberly College of Science will be honored with the Outstanding Science Alumni Award for the year 2018. Receiving this award are Fred Allendorf, Nick Hartman, Alexandra Heerdt, and Danielle Pasqualone. The Board of Directors of the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society established this award in 1995 to recognize alumni who have a record of significant professional achievements in their field and who are outstanding role models for the current students in the college.

 2018 OSA Winners

Fred Allendorf

Dr. Fred Allendorf is a Regents Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Montana. He was a Professorial Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand, 2005-2012). He received his Ph.D. in Fisheries and Genetics from the University of Washington in 1975. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and a postdoctoral NATO Fellow at Nottingham University in England.

He is an evolutionary geneticist who has spent his career applying the theory and molecular techniques of population genetics to problems in conservation. He is senior author of the book, “Conservation and the Genetics of Populations”.  Much of his work in evolutionary genetics has been devoted to understanding the genetics of salmonid fishes following a whole genome duplication event (tetraploidy). He began this work with the genetics of trout while an undergraduate student at Penn State in the laboratory of Professor James E. Wright.

He was Program Director of Population Biology at the National Science Foundation in 1989-1990, a Senior Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand in 2000-2001, and a Senior Fulbright Specialist at the University of Western Australia in 2013. He was elected Fellow of the AAAS in 1987, elected President of the American Genetic Association in 1997, and has served on the editorial boards of several international journals (e.g., Evolution, Conservation Genetics, Molecular Ecology, and Conservation Biology).  He received the American Fisheries Society’s Award of Excellence in recognition of outstanding contributions to fisheries science and aquatic biology in 2011, and the Molecular Ecology Prize for lifetime achievements in the fields of molecular ecology and conservation genetics in 2015.

Dr. Allendorf has also written several papers that unite the sciences of ecology and evolution with the spiritual practice of Zen in order to inspire actions to address the extinction crisis that we are currently facing. Despite his distinguished career, awards and service to his country as a Vietnam Veteran, Dr. Allendorf states, “The success of my former graduate students has been my most gratifying achievement.”


Nick Hartman

Nick Hartman is a partner at CKM Advisors, a developer of data science solutions for Fortune 500 clients with offices in New York and London.

Before the launch of CKM, Dr. Hartman started his career at OC&C Strategy Consultants, a global strategy consulting firm. In this era of “data is the new oil,” Dr. Hartman is sought after for his expertise and experience in the rapidly growing field of data science, especially as it pertains to large enterprise data environments and the complex processes that generate that data.

Dr. Hartman and the team at CKM utilize digital empirical measurements and analytics to detect and improve process efficiency, employee productivity and resource utilization while also providing a data driven approach towards assessing and reacting to operational risk.  The team at CKM leverages these assets to produce data science applications that empower clients to incorporate advanced data-driven decision making and automation into their daily operations.

Dr. Hartman graduated Penn State’s Eberly College of Science in 2003 with a B.S. in Chemistry before attending Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, one of the most prestigious graduate scholarship opportunities for U.S. citizens. He completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2008. He was Cambridge Union Society’s secretary and vice president from 2006 to 2007 and also co-editor of the Marshall Scholarship’s alumni magazine Marshall Update from 2005 to 2007. He is now an active member of the Association of Marshall Scholars, including serving as the managing editor of the Marshall Alumni Newsletter from 2012-2017.

While at Cambridge and during research conducted as an undergraduate at Penn State and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he co-authored a number of published articles, including: “Proteomic Complex Detection Using Sedimentation” (Analytical Chemistry 2007); “Structure Elucidation and Characterization of Polychloronated Biphenyl Carboxylic Acids as Major Constituents of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter in Seawater” (Environmental Science and Technology, 2004); “Giving Elephants Wings, The Science of Proteomics” (BlueSci 2005); “Ignition of Hydrogen Balloons by Model-Rocket-Engine Igniters” (Journal of Chemical Education); and “Explorations into the Inner Beauty of Corals” (Advanced Aquarist).

 When he’s not translating clients’ operational data into tangible business value, you can find him working in his family’s home vegetable garden in Westchester County, NY, cooking dishes with that produce, or buzzing around in the skies above: Dr. Hartman is a pilot and a member of the Westchester Flying Club.

Alexandra Heerdt

Alexandra S. Heerdt is an attending breast surgeon on the Breast Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  She is also an associate professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.  She has worked at the institution since 1992.  Prior to this, she completed her surgical residency at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical College.  She graduated summa cum laude from Jefferson Medical College in 1987 and was a member of the Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Program in Medicine, receiving a BS in Science with highest distinction from Penn State in 1985.  She also holds a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University.

Over the past 25 years, she has been involved in a number of programs and projects that have improved the management of women at high risk for breast cancer as well as those undergoing surgery.  She was the principal investigator at MSKCC for the NSABP P-01 prevention trial that demonstrated the impact of tamoxifen in the prevention of breast cancer.  She also was actively involved in studies evaluating the role of sentinel node biopsy for the evaluation of lymph nodes, which has become the standard of care.  Most recently, she has served on committees to improve quality of care and safety at the institution and to evaluate patient reported outcomes.

She has maintained a busy clinical practice and has been named a “Best Doctor in New York” for over 15 years.  She is also a Castle Connolly Best Doctor in the United States for Breast Cancer Surgery.  In addition, she has been named a “Most Compassionate Doctor”.  She is actively involved in the education of surgical fellows and teaches not only surgical management of breast diseases but also communication strategies to improve patient satisfaction.

Danielle Pasqualone

Danielle Pasqualone is the Vice President of Intellectual Property at Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., in South San Francisco, California.  Five Prime is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative immuno-oncology protein therapeutics. As the leader of the Intellectual Property Group, Dr. Pasqualone directs global patent strategy, including patent preparation and prosecution, and provides strategic counsel on collaborations and licensing transactions. Her work in establishing and protecting intellectual property is vital to the application of basic research in molecular and cell biology to medical science and practice.

As an undergraduate at Penn State, Dr. Pasqualone’s research in molecular and cellular biology included her contributions to defining a class of movable genetic elements implicated in various aspects of gene regulation and disease in mammals. Her Ph.D. thesis work at Cornell University focused on a novel component of the machinery used for segregation of genetic information during mitosis. She conducted post-doctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley in the area of meiotic chromosome dynamics, and she published peer-reviewed articles during all three phases of her research training.

After pursuing basic research, Dr. Pasqualone shifted gears to a career in intellectual property. She studied at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) in 2003, and has worked at a law firm and three biotechnology companies.

Dr. Pasqualone’s work protecting intellectual property in the biotechnology industry helps promote innovation in both basic research and drug development. She worked for nearly 12 years at Genentech, Inc., one of the foremost biotechnology and drug development companies in the world. There, she served as Practice Group Leader, Assistant General Counsel, and Associate Director.  In these and other roles, she had the privilege of working with distinguished scientists and pioneers in the biotechnology industry on programs ranging from basic research through clinical trials and commercialization.  Moreover, as counsel on transactional matters, she helped enable partnerships between industry and academic/non-profit institutions to support collaborative, translational research.  Her work on intellectual property matters contributed to newly developed treatments in oncology, which are providing groundbreaking, effective therapies for breast cancer and other indications.   

 Her career as a patent attorney in the biotechnology industry brilliantly illustrates how the power of a broad education at Penn State has allowed her to impact multiple aspects of biomedical research and development.

About the Award:


The Eberly College of Science Outstanding Science Alumni Award is given by the Eberly College of Science to recognize and reward outstanding Penn State science alumni for their success as leaders in science and for the impact they have had and will continue to have on society and their professions. The award was established in 1995.

Any person may be nominated for the award who is an alumnus of the Eberly College of Science. Current members of the University faculty or staff are not eligible, nor are prior recipients of the University's Alumni Fellow and/or the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Eligible candidates should have a record of professional achievements which are recognized for their quality and significance and should provide outstanding role models for current Eberly College of Science students.

Click here for a list of former recipients of the Outstanding Science Alumni Award.

Nominations can be made for the award by contacting Penn State Science's Alumni Relations and Development Office at 1-800-297-1429, (814) 863-8454 or email mck48@psu.edu

Eberly College of Science Alumni...making a difference

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