Sylvia Bintrim of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 4, 2019, on the University Park campus. Bintrim’s faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Bratoljub Milosavljevic, associate teaching professor of chemistry and director of physical chemistry laboratory instruction.
Bintrim will graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average, bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and mathematics, and a minor in physics. She was a Schreyer Scholar in the Schreyer Honors College and a member of the Dean’s List for every semester. Bintrim received many awards and scholarships, including the Mary Lister McCammon Award in Mathematics in 2019 and 2018, the Christopher Dyckman and Susan Scotto Scholarship in Mathematics in 2017, and the John and Elizabeth Holmes-Teas Scholarship in 2016. She was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation in 2019.
“Being selected as student marshal is an honor that I could not have achieved without the help and support of my faculty mentors,” said Bintrim. “I am grateful for the research, coursework, scholarship funds, honors, and employment opportunities that I have received while at Penn State.”
Bintrim conducted research with a number of faculty. She studied experimental physical chemistry with Milosavljevic, focusing on nanosized water clusters and supercooled water. She completed an honors thesis in theoretical chemistry with Gerald Knizia, assistant professor of chemistry. She also conducted research in the labs of Miriam Freedman, associate professor of chemistry, and Thomas Mallouk, Evan Pugh University Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Physics, and Engineering Science and Mechanics. Bintrim has presented research posters on campus as well as at the 2019 American Chemical Society meeting in Orlando, Florida. She also spent a summer conducting research at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan.
Bintrim served as a teaching assistant and grader for several courses in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
“Teaching is one of the primary means of engaging the next generation of scientists,” said Bintrim. “During my time as a teaching assistant, I learned a lot from Bratoljub Milosavljevic, Paul Cremer, and Tae-Hee Lee. They devote great care to this part of their work, and I benefitted from observing their different pedagogical styles. I am grateful for their support and encouragement.”
After graduation, Bintrim will begin a doctoral degree program in chemical physics at Columbia University.
Bintrim, who was homeschooled, was accompanied at commencement by her parents, Timothy and Beth Bintrim, and her sisters, Wendelyn and Cara Bintrim.