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Outstanding Science Alumni Award

Recognizing outstanding alumni

Outstanding Science Alumni Award


This award recognizes and rewards outstanding Penn State science alumni for their success as leaders in science and for the impact they have had on society and their professions. The award was established in 1995 by the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society Board. Nominees should exemplify the Penn State Values: Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence, and Community. 



Any person may be nominated who is an alum of the Eberly College of Science. Ineligible alumni include current Penn State faculty or staff, members of the selection committee, and prior recipients of Penn State University's Alumni Fellow and/or the Distinguished Alumni Award.

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



Nominations will be accepted from department heads, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Eberly College of Science. Click here to download the Outstanding Science Alumni Nomination form. Email the completed form and attachments to Jennifer Lawrence, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Eberly College of Science:


Selection Committee

The selecting body includes members of the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society Board and the Eberly College of Science Dean's Executive Committee.



Nominations are due on October 31. Selections will be made in November/December. The award(s) will be presented to the recipient during a ceremony hosted by the dean of the Eberly College of Science the following April.



If you have questions about the nomination or selection process, please contact Jennifer Lawrence, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Eberly College of Science, at

2023 recipients of the Outstanding Science Alumni Award

Trevor S. Brown

Trevor Brown is a senior scientist within the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense's (JPEO-CBRND) Joint Project Management Office for CBRN Medical (JPM CBRN Med). He was previously involved in clinical research in the field of immunology, including directing clinical research staff at the Naval Medical Research Center where he initiated a biomarker identification program for translational medicine within the Regenerative Medicine Department. He joined the advanced development and acquisition team at JPM CBRN Medical as a science and technology manager supporting the Joint Product Lead for Diagnostics (JPdL DX) to shepherd the technology transition of an early prototype for a nerve agent exposure diagnostic with the potential for point-of-need use that was invented at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. Now, as a civilian employee, Brown carries the responsibility of overseeing the technological aspects of DX’s advanced development portfolio, to include chemical, biological, and radiological medical defense.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown received several awards and recognition for embracing the “all hands on deck” mentality that was required to successfully respond to this unprecedented public health challenge. Brown’s efforts significantly contributed to new capacity for millions of diagnostic tests per week dedicated for back-to-school testing. Additionally, the JPM CBRN Med team supported three Emergency Use Authorizations for diagnostic systems and tests to enable diagnosis and treatment of the Joint Force that reduce mission stoppage. 

Sarah C. Gallagher

Sarah Gallagher is the director of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for Earth and Space Exploration and a professor of physics and astronomy at Western University in London, Canada. Her astrophysics research focuses on the powerful light-driven winds that emanate from supermassive black holes. She uses both ground and space-based observatories that span the electromagnetic spectrum to reveal the mechanisms that link the growth of the black hole found in the center of every massive galaxy to the galaxy itself. She is engaged in planning and advocating for next generation observatories to enable an ambitious science program to use time domain astrophysics—exploring how cosmic objects change over time, especially on relative short time scales—to map black holes’ inner regions. 

As the first science advisor to the president of the Canadian Space Agency, Gallagher advised the agency’s Executive Committee on issues related to science investments and capacity development. She served as a liaison to the academic space science community and other government departments via the Departmental Science Advisor Network of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. During her two terms, she advised on Open Science policies and co-founded Can COVID, the pan-Canadian pandemic research network. She teaches physics and astronomy and regularly communicates to the public about the value of space science and exploration.

Kristen Ries

Kristen Ries is a professor emerita of internal medicine at the University of Utah and a retired infectious diseases physician known for her work to provide patient-centered care during the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 

Ries grew up on a farm in Bucks County, PA, and began her education at Sunnyside one room school. She then attended Penn State, where she initially struggled but found support as a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Penn State, she graduated with honors from Drexel School of Medicine, where she also completed her residency and served as a faculty member in infectious diseases.

She then served in the Lakota Sioux Indian Health Services in Rosebud, South Dakota, and the National Health Services Corp in Vermillion, South Dakota. Longing to work in infectious diseases, she moved to Salt Lake City, just as the illness that was later called Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was described. Although most health care physicians, clinics, and hospitals refused care to AIDS patients at the time, she built a sizable AIDS clinic and was later recruited to bring her patient-centered clinic to the University of Utah. The clinic thrived there and received many awards for its model of care and education of health care providers.

After retirement, an Emmy Award winning movie called “Quiet Heroes” was made about Ries and her physician assistant and partner, Maggie Snyder.

Previous OSA Recipients

Gideon Bollag, 1984 B.S. Chemistry
Emmanouil Dermitzakis, 2001 Ph.D Biology
Hank Foley, 1982 Ph.D. Chemistry
Katie McPeak, 1997 B.S. Science
Janet Tomezsko, 1987 B.S. Premedicine
Joy Ward, 1991 B.S. Biology
B. Vindell Washington, 1986 B.S. Science


Danielle Bassett, 2004 B.S. Physics
Aaron Gitler, 2000 B.S. Science
Lara Mangravite, 1997 B.S. Physics
Steven Maslowski, 1995 B.S. Biology


Bruce Booth, 1996 B.S. Biochemistry
Judd Moul, 1979 B.S. Premedicine


Fred Allendorf, 1971 B.S. Zoology
Nicholas Hartman, 2003 B.S. Chemistry
Alexandra Heerdt, 1985 B.S. Science
Danielle Pasqualone, 1990 B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology


Jason Bacha, 2002 B.S. Biology
Joseph Berry, 2001 Ph.D. Physics
Wanda Jones, 1975 B.S. Medical Technology
Harold Kohn, 1971 Ph.D. Chemistry
Louise Sabol, 1955 B.S. Premedicine


Ronald Boxall, 1984 B.S. Science
Jayatri Das, 1999 B.S. Biology, B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Christa Hasenkopf, 2003 B.S. Astronomy & Astrophysics


Donna Bortner, 1984 B.S. Microbiology
Alexa Dembek, 1991 Ph.D. Chemistry
Sudhir Kumar, 1996 Ph.D. Genetics
Caryl Russo Singer, 1982 B.S. Biology
Larry Travis, 1971 Ph.D. Astronomy


Eric Freed, 1985 B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology
Ann Hornschemeier, 1999 M.S., 2002 Ph.D. Astronomy and Astrophysics
John Pierce, Jr., 1976 B.S. Biochemistry
Kathryn Roeder, 1988 Ph.D. Statistics


Donald Abraham, 1958 B.S. Chemistry
Robert Baltera, 1987 B.S. Microbiology, 1990 M.S. Genetics
Peter Emanuel, 1994 Ph.D. Molecular and Cell Biology
Kay Mooney, 1989 B.S. Mathematics
Christopher Olivia, 1984 B.S. Science
Jonathan Pritchard, 1994 B.S. Biology, B.S. Mathematics
Jane Rigby, 2000 B.S. Astronomy. B.S. Physics


Eliav Barr, 1984 B.S. Science
Gary Fleisher. 1971 B.S. Science
Howard Gordon, 1963 M.S. Physics, 1965 Ph.D. Physics
Joellen Schildkraut, 1978 B.S. Microbiology
Robert Shaler, 1966 M.S, Biochemistry, 1968 Ph.D. Biochemistry


David Dunson, 1994 B.S. Mathematics
Susan Gardlik, 1983 B.S. Biochemistry
Albert Hartman, 1965 B.S. Science
Allan Silberman, 1968 B.S. Science
Bruce Wellman, 1991 B.S. Science


Judith Davenport, 1961 B.S. Medical Technology
Richard Gottscho, 1974 B.S. Chemistry
Steven McCrystal, 1992 B.S. Mathematics
Monica Morrow, 1974 B.S. Science
Fletcher Wicker, 1968 B.S. Mathematics, 1969 M.A. Mathematics, 1975 Ph.D. Mathematics


Mark Becker, 1985 Ph.D. Statistics
Jack Dickstein, 1946 B.S. Agriculture & Biological Chemistry
Laura Hutton, 1971 B.S. Astronomy
Alvaro Umaña, 1973 B.S. Physics, 1974 M.S. Environmental Pollution Control
CP Wong, 1972 M.S. Chemistry, 1975 Ph.D. Chemistry
Carol Zaher, 1971 B.S. Zoology


George Cimochowski, 1963 B.S. Premedicine
David Heymann, 1966 B.S. Science
Vance Moss, 1994 B.S. Science
Vince Moss, 1994 B.S. Science
*Robert Schiessler, 1939 B.S. Chemistry, 1945 Ph.D. Chemistry
John Senior, 1950 B.S. Physics


Mildred Christian, 1965 M.S. Zoology
Stephen DiBiase, 1978 Ph.D. Chemistry
Susan Grove, 1966 B.S. Mathematics
John Patton, 1967 B.S. Zoology
Angelo Scopelianos, 1982 Ph.D. Chemistry
Chi Kong Shu, 1978 M.S. Computer Science


Ken Adelberg, 1974 B.S. Biophysics, 1974 B.S. Psychology
Neal Flomenberg, 1974 B.S. Science
Susan Hardin, 1982 B.S. Biology
F. Matthew Rhodes, 1979 B.S. Physics


Charles M. Buchas, 1971 B.S. Mathematics
Stephen Mayo, 1983 B.S. Chemistry
Mary Osborn, 1963 M.S. Biophysics, 1967 Ph.D. Biophysics


Barbara J. Dalton, 1974 B.S. Biology
Charles E. Grier, 1984 M.S. Microbiology, 1987 Ph.D. Microbiology
Chad A. Mirkin, 1989 Ph.D. Chemistry


Bruce L. Gewertz, 1970 B.S. Science
Gail Folena-Wasserman, 1979 M.S. Biochemistry; 1982 Ph.D. Chemistry
Bruce K. Lloyd, 1968 B.S. Premedicine
Stephen Miller, 1969 B.S. Microbiology, 1973 M.S. Microbiology, 1975 Ph.D. Microbiology


Paul M. Doty,1941 B.S. Chemistry
Richard A. Grazzini, 1975 B.S. Biology, 1993 Ph.D. Genetics
Janet Vergis, 1986 B.S. Biology, 1988 M.S. Physiology


Terence J. Dwyer, 1970 M.A. Mathematics
Louise A. Goeser, 1974 B.S. Mathematics
Daniel A. Nolan, 1974 Ph.D. Physics
Robert F. Wilson, Jr. 1973 B.S. Premedicine


Catherine Beath, 1970 B.S. Microbiology
Marcus Hansen, 1968 B.S. Science
Woodrow E. Hoch, 1942 B.S. Commercial Chemistry
Morris Taradalsky, 1970 B.S. Mathematics


Jean M. Bennett, 1953 M.S. Physics, 1955 Ph.D. Physics
John L. Mason, 1970 Ph.D. Chemistry
Gary E. McGraw, 1965 Ph.D. Chemistry
Robert J. Petcavich, 1976 B.S. Chemistry, 1977 M.S. Solid State Science, 1980 Ph.D. Polymer Science


Joseph H. Eberly, 1957 B.S. Physics
Louis A. Martarano, 1976 B.S. Chemistry
James H. Plonka, 1970 Ph.D. Chemistry
Barbara Scheffler, 1972 B.A. Mathematics, 1973 M.A. Statistics


Steven Cohen, 1967 B.S. Premedicine
Melvyn Kohudic, 1953 B.S. Commercial Chemistry
Edward Nelson, 1965 B.S. Biochemistry
Wolfgang Sachse, 1963 B.S. Physics


Robert W. Emery, 1969 B.S. Premedicine
J. Arthur Jones, 1961 M.A. Mathematics, 1965 M.Ed. Mathematics
Max G. Lagally, 1963 B.S. Physics


*recognized posthumously