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Penn State's Alumni Achievement Award

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The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni 35 years of age and younger for their extraordinary professional accomplishments. They demonstrate to students that Penn State alumni succeed in exceptional fashion at an early age. The award is a cast bronze medallion and framed certificate.

Urschel, John

John Urschel, ’12 Math, NFL offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, began his professional football career in 2014. Prior to being drafted by the Ravens during the fifth round of the NFL draft, John played college football for the Nittany Lions, where he not only excelled on the football field but in the classroom as well. John graduated with a 4.0 GPA and earned both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mathematics.

During his collegiate football career, Urschel was selected a first-team All-Big Ten guard and first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2012, Penn State’s 2012–13 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, and the recipient of a Sullivan Award, which is awarded to the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete. In 2013, John became Penn State’s first William V. Campbell Trophy winner—an award often referred to as the “Academic Heisman” and presented to the nation’s top scholar-athlete.

A published mathematician, John Urschel co-authored a paper in the Journal of Computational Mathematics, titled “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians.”

He is a self-described professional mathlete and chess enthusiast, an adjunct research assistant in the department of mathematics at Penn State, and recently began his Ph.D. studies in mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John's Acceptance Speech

Learn about the other Alumni Achievement winners.

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