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2009-2010 BioE Undergraduate Awards

2009-2010 BioE Undergraduate Awards

Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) undergraduates were among the award recipients at the 2009-2010 A. James Clark School of Engineering's Honors and Awards Ceremony, held April 21. The event honors students from all departments who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance, research, and contributions to their departments or fields. BioE Professor and Chair William Bentley presented the department's awards, while Dean Darryll Pines presented awards to bioengineering students who were recognized at the Clark School-level.

This year, the awards and their recipients were:

Department Awards

The ASABE, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ Student Honor Award: Jessica Tsaoi
Presented by ASABE on the basis of academic achievement, service to the department, student branch participation, and other extracurricular activities.

Jessica Tsaoi, a senior, was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the department and her tireless and skilled leadership. She has diligently and cheerfully served as both secretary and president for the Society of Biological Engineers, actively participated in Maryland Day and fundraising for the student club, and served as a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society.

The Washington, D.C.–Maryland Section of ASABE, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ Scholarship: Omar Ayyub and Jennifer Lei
Presented to outstanding students based on academic achievement and contribution to the department and student branch.

Omar Ayyub, a senior, has published two manuscripts and given an oral presentation at the Biomedical Engineering Society conference, was the founding president of the Society of Biological Engineers, and served on the executive board of the Zeta Psi academic fraternity. Omar has been a research assistant since 2006 and has worked on the development of polymers for chemical and biological threat detection.

Jennifer Lei, a senior, was recognized for the second year in a row for her excellent academic achievement and her contributions to the department. She serves as the secretary of the Society of Biological Engineers and participates actively in its student-organized activities.

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering’s Outstanding Junior Award: Kathleen Jee and Zachary Russ
Presented by the Chair on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and contributions to the department.

Kathleen Jee, a junior, has spent many hours in various volunteer capacities and is a member of the Primannum Honor Society, a campus volunteerism organization. She is the news and features editor for the "Scientific Terrapin," an English and organic chemistry tutor, a lab assistant, and an undergraduate teaching assistant.

Zachary Russ, a junior double degree student in bioengineering and mathematics, has been published in a variety of scientific journals. In 2009 he was named a Goldwater Scholar. Also in 2009, he won first prize for his essay on bioethics at the Institute of Biological Engineering Conference. He is founder and president of the Genetics Engineering Club and has presented posters at both the University of California-Berkley and Rice University.

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering's Outstanding Senior Award: Erik Li and Pratiksha Thakore
Presented by the faculty on the basis of academic achievement and contributions to the profession and the department.

Erik Li, a senior, is the signal processing lead on a Gemstone Honors team working toward improving analysis of electromyographic signals on post-stroke patients to provide rehabilitative feedback. He is a member of a Walmart's Better Business Plan Challenge team that has won on both the university and the regional levels. Erik is a research assistant in the department’s Tissue Engineering lab.

Pratiksha Thakore, a senior, has received the Seymour and Faye Wolf Endowed Scholarship in Bioengineering, the A. James Clark School of Engineering Scholarship, and the University of Maryland Presidential Scholarship. She has conducted research in the department’s Orthopaedic Mechanobiology Laboratory, received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholarship, presented posters at meetings of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Orthopaedic Research Society, and is a co-author on two journal publications.

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering's Outstanding Research Award: Chetan Pasrija
Presented by the faculty on the basis of significant contributions to research, the department, and the field of bioengineering.

Chetan Pasrija, a senior, has since June 2007 conducted research in the department’s Orthopaedic Mechanobiology Laboratory. He has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholarship recipient since August 2008 and received an ASPIRE research award in 2007. He has presented posters at meetings of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Orthopaedic Research Society and has a co-first author manuscript in review.

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering's Outstanding Volunteer Award: Andrew Demaio
Presented to an excellent student who has contributed many hours of service to others.

Drew Demaio, a senior, has cheerfully served the department in a variety of capacities, sometimes on very short notice. He has served as the vice president of the Society of Biological Engineers and is currently working as an emergency medical technician. An active member of College Park Scholars, he is also a student researcher in the department’s Human Performance Lab.

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering's Outstanding Citizen Award: Elizabeth Kim
Presented to an excellent student who has contributed significantly to the community, department, university, and profession.

Elizabeth Kim, a senior in the Gemstone Honors Program, works to understand the communication skills of deaf students. She served as the secretary of the Alpha Omega Epsilon women's engineering society and as the recording secretary of Tau Beta Pi. She has donated many hours serving her fellow students as well as the community.

A. James Clark School of Engineering Awards

Outstanding ASPIRE Research Award: Omar Ayyub
Presented by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute to the ASPIRE (A Scholars Program for Industry-Oriented Research in Engineering) student who has carried out the most successful research project.

In his ASPIRE project, Omar Ayyub, a senior, dramatically improved the binding selectivity of molecularly imprinted polymers by introducing charge into the structure of the polymers. His work will lead to significantly reduced cost in protein purification processes, such as the production of vaccines. The research also resulted in his being a co-author on two published journal papers.

The Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering Service Award: Olufemi Sokoya
Presented to an engineering student who demonstrates dedicated service to the center and the university community and commitment to promoting diversity in engineering.

Olufemi Sokoya, a sophomore, is a member of the Gemstone Honors Research Program, the QUEST (Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams) Program, and the Bridge Program. In his spare time, he participates in the Reformed University Fellowship campus ministry and volunteers with Strategies to Elevate People of Greater Washington, D.C. He is currently the membership chair of the Black Engineers Society, where he participates in numerous service and membership activities.

The Kim A. Borsavage and Pamela J. Stone Student Award for Outstanding Service: Allon Meizlik
Presented to an engineering student for outstanding service and dedication to the Clark School.

Allon Meizlik, a senior, is majoring in bioengineering with minors in international engineering and engineering leadership development. He previously received the Benjamin T. Rome Scholarship and Diane M. Berman Memorial Award. He is a peer advisor with the Clark School's international engineering programs and he is a Clark School Ambassador. He has interned at LRA Worldwide and Discovery Labs in addition to studying abroad in London.

Other Awards and Recognition

The Keystone Design Challenge Award
Presented to the freshman engineering design teams that build an autonomously controlled hovercraft that completes a specified course in the minimum amount of time.

Miranda Hagen, part of Team Red October, was a winner in the Fall 2009 Keystone Design Challenge.

Congratulations to all of our students!

April 26, 2010


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