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Leadership Award Presented to Chemistry Graduate Students

28 May 2021

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that graduate students Santina Cruz, Dayna Patterson, and Laura Wickham have been named the winners of the 2021 Department of Chemistry Student Leadership Award.

The Student Leadership Award was designed to recognize graduate students who have proven to be outstanding leaders, either within the research lab or the science community at large. 

Santina Cruz is a sixth-year student in the Lear group. She received the award in recognition of her work as an organizer of the department’s Women's History Month initiatives, an organizer of the mental health survey for graduate students in the Eberly College of Science, an open house tour leader, a teaching assistant (TA), a lab supervisor, and an organizer and leader of mental health and wellness workshops for graduate students. She is also a member of the departmental Climate and Diversity Committee, a member and former treasurer of Graduate Women in Science, a member and past elected delegate of the Graduate and Professional Student Association, and a member and past president of Chemistry Graduate Student Association (GSA).

Santina Cruz.
Santina Cruz

Dayna Patterson is a fifth year student in the Weinert group. She was named an awardee in acknowledgement of her leadership as the president of the Penn State chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, the organizer of the department’s virtual seminar series to highlight Black assistant professors of chemistry, the co-president of the Penn State Minority Graduate Students organization, and as an interviewer for Penn State's Millennium Scholars Program. She also received the Up and Coming Organization Award from Penn State Student Affairs.

Dayna Patterson.
Dayna Patterson

Laura Wickham was recognized for her leadership as an organizer of the GSA’s Virtual Scientist webinar series, a tour guide for the department’s open house event, the leader in Maintenance of Instruments and Managing Laboratory Stock Items, a GSA panelist, a TA mentor,  an outreach organizer, and a member of the executive board of Conversations with Women in Chemistry. She also serves as the secretary of the Chemistry GSA and is an active member of Graduate Women in Science. She was nominated by thirteen faculty members and students.

Laura Wickham
Laura Wickham

The Department of Chemistry thanks Cruz, Patterson, and Wickham for their leadership within the chemistry community.