Engineering students among Chancellor’s Undergraduate Awards winners
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank joined colleagues, including outgoing Provost Paul DeLuca and Interim Vice Provost Chris Olsen, on May 6, 2014 to recognize students for excellence in research, including 17 students in the College of Engineering.
This year’s Chancellor’s Undergraduate Awards ceremony, held in the Memorial Union Great Hall, recognized 139 UW–Madison winners and nine honorable mention recipients of the Hilldale Fellowship, Holstrom Environmental Scholarship, Herfurth and Kubly Awards and the University Book Store Awards. Nine winners and two finalists for the national Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill, Goldwater, Udall and Truman scholarships were also honored.
Recipients in the College of Engineering were: Matthew Boyer, biomedical engineering; Thomas Chrobak, materials science and engineering; Xiang Deng, electrical and computer engineering; Jeffrey Ehrhardt, chemical and biological engineering; Maria Estevez Silva, biomedical engineering; Brandon Foley, chemical engineering; James Hermus, biomedical engineering; Tyler Lieberthal, biomedical engineering; Zexi Liu, electrical and computer engineering; Melissa Meyer, geological engineering; Stephanie O'Leary, biomedical engineering; Alexa Sampson, civil and environmental engineering; Michael Stone, chemical engineering; Lauren Stopfer, biomedical engineering; Andrew Vamos, biomedical engineering; Thejas Wesley, chemical engineering; Drew Birrenkott, biomedical engineering; and Geoffrey McConohy, engineering physics.
“Each of you will follow a unique path, but you share a dedication to excellence and a passion for your work that will bring many opportunities your way,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank, addressing the honorees. “All of this is part of your Wisconsin Experience: the meaningful activities that have made your education more than just the time you have spent in a lecture hall. And all of this has prepared you for what lies ahead.”
Out of 245 applications, a total of 117 students received the Wisconsin/Hilldale Undergraduate and Faculty Research Fellowships and Holstrom Environmental Research Scholarships. Both awards are funded by generous grants providing $3,000 to each undergraduate recipient and $500–$1,000 to their faculty and staff advisors to work in collaboration on research projects.
One hundred-thirteen students received Hilldale fellowships, funded by the Hilldale Foundation and the Wisconsin Legislature. Four students received Holstrom Scholarships, funded by Carleton and Mary Beth Holstrom of Pipersville, Pennsylvania, for research on environmental issues.
The competitive $2,000 Theodore Herfurth and Teddy Kubly Awards for Initiative and Efficiency go to two UW-Madison students out of a pool of more than 267 faculty and staff nominations. Four students also received honorable mentions. A grant from the Herfurth-Kubly family funds the awards, which honor seniors judged outstanding in academic achievement, self-support, extracurricular activities, and verbal expression.
Twenty undergraduates received the University Book Store Academic Excellence Award of $1,000, with five students receiving honorable mentions. The award is granted to undergraduate students who demonstrated excellence by completing a project through independent study.
This year’s ceremony also honored nine recipients of nationally competitive scholarships: the Rhodes, Churchill, Marshall and Beinecke scholarships for graduate study, and the Barry M. Goldwater and Morris K. Udall scholarships for sophomores and juniors. Additionally, two finalists for the Truman Scholarship were honored.
“We had a record number of applications for the Hilldale and Holstrom Awards, and our faculty review committee agreed that the number of excellent proposals exceeded the number of available awards,” says Julie Stubbs, director of the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office. “These awards say something about the culture of supporting undergraduate research on campus. Many of our nationally competitive scholarship recipients have also won Hilldale Awards, so we can see how this kind of support pays off down the road.”
More information about undergraduate awards, including application information, can be found on the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office website.