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2010-2011 BioE Undergraduate Awards

2010-2011 BioE Undergraduate Awards

Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) undergraduates were among the award recipients at the 2010-2011 A. James Clark School of Engineering's Honors and Awards Ceremony, held April 19. 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:

Professional Society Awards

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

Victoria Stefanelli, a junior, has been an active member of our student chapter of the Society of Biological Engineers since her freshman year. She is currently serving as the organization's Vice President. She is the Engineering Student Council Representative and the Director of Membership for the Society of Women Engineers. She is also an Engineering Ambassador and a participant in the Engineering Honors Research program, working in Assistant Professor Sameer Shah's Neuromuscular Bioengineering Laboratory.

The Washington, D.C.–Maryland Section of ASABE, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' Scholarship: Laith Abu-Taleb and Alison Clark
Presented to outstanding students based on academic achievement and contribution to the department and student branch.

Laith Abu-Taleb, a junior, is the President of the Society of Biological Engineers. During his freshman year, he was selected to present his paper on Bioethics at the IBE conference in California, where he was awarded an Honorable Mention. He has committed hundreds of hours volunteering in the community, where he has worked in hospitals and coached children in sports. He is currently working as a Research Assistant in Professor Peter Kofinas' Functional Macromolecular Laboratory.

Alison Clark, a junior, is the Fundraising Chair for the Society of Biological Engineers. Alison also serves as a Women in Engineering Mentor, a QUEST Honors Fellow Program Member, and as a member of various other university honors programs. She is currently employed as a Physical Sciences Technician at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, where she is in the process of publishing her work in a DoD tech report.

The Institute of Biological Engineering's (IBE) Annual Bioethics Essay Contest

  • Spencer Sokoloski: Third Place
  • Yasmin Kadry: Honorable Mention
  • Mian Khalid: Honorable Mention

Department Awards

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering’s Outstanding Junior Award: Kelley Heffner and Mariya Sitnova
Presented by the Chair on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and contributions to the department.

Kelley Heffner, a junior, is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society and the Primannum Honor Society, where she works on fundraising and volunteering events. She has been a member of Engineers Without Borders since 2008, with a focus on the Ethiopia Project. She is a peer mentor in Women in Engineering, team member in Gemstone and a MedImmune intern. She has managed all of these activities and more while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Mariya Sitnova, a junior, is a member Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Treasurer of Alpha Omega Epsilon Engineering Sorority, and a Clark School of Engineering Ambassador. During the Fall 2010 semester, she was a QUEST Presentation Designer on a project in which she and a team of other students worked to re-design laboratory coats for physicians. She currently works in the Assistant Professor Sameer Shah's Neuromuscular Bioengineering Laboratory.

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering's Outstanding Senior Award: Kathleen Jee and Thomas Metzger
Presented by the faculty on the basis of academic achievement and contributions to the profession and the department.

Kathleen Jee has spent many, many hours in various volunteer capacities and is a member of the Primannum Honor Society, a campus volunteerism organization. She has worked as the news and features editor for the Scientific Terrapin, an English and organic chemistry tutor, a lab assistant, an undergraduate teaching assistant and a medical scribe at Washington Advent Hospital. She has accomplished all of these things and more while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Thomas Metzger is a member of Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity, the Honor Society and the Society of Bioengineers. He leads the 300 members of The Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band as the Drum Major. He is working alongside professional engineers at the Department of Rehabilitation Services- V-LINC Engineering Group to create medical devices for the disabled population. He is also working in University or Maryland's Orthopedics Lab and at the Recreation Center as a Supervisor/Fitness Trainer.

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

Bao-Ngoc Nguyen, a senior, works in Assistant Professor Sameer Shah's Neuromuscular Bioengineering Laboratory, where she successfully used a multidisciplinary approach combining methodology in nanofabrication, tissue culture and device design to develop a novel platform for examining the effects of mechanical loading on neuronal function. She is first author on a manuscript that was recently submitted for peer review to a bioengineering journal. As a member of Engineers Without Borders, she traveled to Africa to design and install an automated water pump and water tank for a disadvantaged community.

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

Edward Vogel, a senior, is a member of the Society for Biological Engineers, the Social Chairman for Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity and the Project Development Coordinator for the Engineering Ambassadors Program. He is also working as an intern in the Army Research Laboratory and Assistant Professor Adam Hsieh's Orthopaedic Mechanobiology Laboratory. He has co-authored two papers, one for a U.S. Army Research Laboratory Technical Report and one being prepared for submission to the Journal of Biomechanics.

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

Jessica Stewart, a senior, is a member of the QUEST Honors Fellows Program and the University Honors Program. She is the Visit Coordinator for the Clark School Ambassadors. She works in Professor William Bentley's Biomolecular and Metabolic Engineering Laboratories. She co-authored a paper on her work in the lab that was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Stewart also received the first Jeffrey C. and Sandra W. Huskamp Endowed Bioengineering Scholarship in September 2010.

A. James Clark School of Engineering Awards

Outstanding ASPIRE Research Award: Joshua Thompson
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, Joshua Thompson, a sophomore who works in Associate Professor John Fisher's Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory, studied the efficacy of gene delivery with a novel cyclic acetal polymer scaffold for skeletal muscle regeneration. The aim of the project was to study the characteristics of single component and multi component porous scaffolds as gene delivery devices. He subsequently co-authored a paper on the research that was published in Pharmaceutical Research, one of the top pharmacology journals.

The Dinah Berman Memorial Award: Esmaael Paryavi
Presented to an engineering student who has combined academic excellence with demonstrated leadership or service to the Clark School as a freshman and sophomore.

Esmaael Paryavi, a junior, is a member of Hinman CEOs, whose team is a currently a finalist in the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute's $75K Business Plan Competition. He is a member of the Gemstone team FACE: Facial Analysis for Communicating Expressions, which is developing a prototype system to recognize face and expression data to aid blind users in their social interaction. He is a member of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and is currently serving as the leader of the Peru Irrigation Project, which is working to provide improved irrigation solutions for the residents of Compone, Peru. Through EWB, he has also worked on projects in West Africa and Edmonston, Maryland. He is a member of the Society of Biological Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, and the Professor Peter Kofinas' Functional Macromolecular Laboratory. He recently received an Honorable Mention from the Goldwater Scholarship program.

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.

Richard Baik and Addison Goodley were members of Team Legend, which won the Spring 2010 competition.

The Outstanding Engineering Co-op/Intern Award: Charles Chiang,
Presented to selected students who have demonstrated exceptional work performance, strong academic achievement, and remarkable potential for a successful career while participating in a cooperative education or internship opportunity.

Charles Chiang has been an intern at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2010, were he has made significant contributions in a pre-clinical evaluation of blood-contacting medical devices. Charles is diligent, enthusiastic, and dedicated to research; often working well beyond his scheduled hours. In just weeks he was able to learn many challenging techniques and independently conduct experiments, as well as, perform data analysis with minimal supervision. His results were used in a publication submitted to the American Society of Internal Artificial Organs. He is considered one of the top interns among the 50 currently at the FDA. Charles has also interned at IGENE Biotechnology and is a member of Gemstone.

Congratulations to all of our students!

April 19, 2011


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