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Undergraduate Programs

Meet our Spring 2021 Student Marshals:
Asvivi Krishnaprakash

Image of Asvivi Krishnaprakash


The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is proud to recognize Asvini Krishnaprakash as a Student Marshal for the 2021 Spring Commencement!  The daughter of Malathy Krishnaprakash and Srinivasan Krishnaprakash, Asvini graduated high school in Doha, Qatar.  She is a Biotechnology major, with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and has earned her spot on the Dean’s List a remarkable six times over her undergraduate career.



After graduation, she will be attending Johns Hopkins University where she will earn her Masters of Science degree in Biotechnology.  Her hope for the future is to enter the biotechnology industry as a Research Scientist where she will focus on drug discovery and development.  Her goal is to one day invent a solution that impacts the lives of those around the world.


Congratulations Asvini on being named a Spring 2021 Student Marshal, and also for serving as a wonderful of example of why We Are Penn State!


Read more, below, about Asvini's remarkable undergraduate career.

I was ecstatic when I heard that I was selected as a student marshal. I am very honored to be given this opportunity and see the BMB department value and appreciate my efforts and passion towards Biotechnology. I would like to thank my faculty who have guided me, my peers who have made the long labs seem not so long and Penn State for giving me this platform to grow.
Asvini Krishnaprakash
Spring 2021 Student Marshal


Commencement Faculty Escort:

  • Beatrice Sirakaya, Assistant Teaching Professor, Biotechnology Training Program Technologist, and Bio-Tech Cluster Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation (ENTI) minor

What impact has/did Dr. Beatrice Sirakaya have on your undergraduate career?

"Dr.Sirakaya has connected with me beyond the limits of the curriculum. I have always felt comfortable talking to her regarding the doubts in my career path and future steps. I appreciate her knowledge about the Biotechnology industry and found her teaching to be beyond theory which encourages students to think broad. She has guided me on many occasions and am glad to have her as my faculty escort."

What is the most important lesson/memory/observation that you will take with you from your time at Penn State?

"The most important lesson I learnt that I would take away from Penn State is to go after opportunities. You never know what you’ll get out of them, a new skill, a new friend, a new path or more. Penn State has taught me that there are open doors for new ventures everywhere if you look for it. Even through the pandemic, Penn State has allowed its students to explore and connect via zoom, webinars, online career fairs, etc. So, I am going to continue keeping my eyes open for newer prospects and seize them to my fullest potential."

Undergraduate Honors and Awards:

Extracurricular Activities or Honorary Society Memberships:

In what laboratory did you conduct your research?


What was your research topic, and can you describe for our audience your research activities?

I worked 5hrs/week for two years in understanding the mechanism of drug binding to enzyme RNA polymerase. I applied plasmid transformation and x-ray crystallization of proteins to reveal three-dimensional structures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) RNA polymerase through electron microscopy.