Student Excellence

A student talking about her work.

A Celebration of Student Academic Excellence takes place each spring.

On this page:


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Center for the Arts, UB North Campus

Outstanding Research, Scholarship and Creativity Posters

1 p.m. - 3 p.m., Atrium

Celebration Ceremony

3:30 p.m., Mainstage Theatre


If you will be attending the poster display and/or the celebration ceremony, please register online.


Select National Fellowships and Scholarships

Many of the fellowship/scholarship award decisions are still in flux.  We will continue to update each student's award status (listed after their name) as we learn of changes.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

  • Christopher Bosso, Electrical Engineering (Nominee)
  • Ian DesJardin, Aerospace Engineering (Nominee)
  • Dennis Fedorishin, Computer Science (Winner)
  • Hannah Seppala, Physics (Winner)

British Marshall Scholarship

Forty Marshall Scholarships are awarded per year to finance young Americans of high ability to study at the graduate level at a United Kingdom institution in any field of study. As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent and wide-ranging, and their time as scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programs contributes to their ultimate personal success.

  • Patricia Johnson, Chemistry (Finalist)
  • Erin Maloney, Biomedical Engineering (Nominee)
  • Mariangela Perrella, Dance, Psychology (Nominee)
  • Hanna Santanam, Anthropology (Nominee)

Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress

Fellows travel to Washington, DC, to learn about leadership and governance and to explore careers in public service.

  • David Tallents, Mathematics (Winner)

Critical Language Scholarship

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, this award offers intensive summer language institutes overseas in eleven critical need foreign languages. The CLS Program is part of the National Security Language Initiative, a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages.

  • Ashwaq Asfour, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies (Alternate)
  • Jonathan Bessette, Mechanical Engineering (Winner)
  • David Brass, Anthropology (Nominee)
  • Russell Guibault, Asian Studies (Nominee)
  • Kayleigh Hamernik, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Programs (Alternate)
  • Abigail LaPlaca, English for Speakers of Other Languages (Nominee)
  • Olaide Lemoru, Sociology (Nominee)
  • Conor McMahon, Philosophy (Winner)
  • Austin Nagelhout, Media Study (Nominee)
  • Jeannine Nwade, Political Science (Nominee)
  • Kelly Ann Swartz, English (Nominee)
  • David Tallents, Mathematics (Nominee)
  • Sheryl Toure, Psychology (Nominee)

Fulbright Program

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools world-wide. The program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to "enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."

  • Avye Alexandres, Fine Art (Nominee)
  • Addison Arnold, History (Nominee)
  • Ashwaq Asfour, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies (Nominee)
  • Ashley Cercone, Anthropology (Winner)
  • Laura Curry, Media Arts Production (Nominee)
  • Madeline Elminowski, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Programs (Alternate)
  • Paige Gagliardi, History (Finalist)
  • Colleen Grabar, History (Nominee)
  • Kayleigh Hamernik, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Programs (Finalist)
  • Nabila Ismail, Pharmacy (Finalist)
  • Alyson Katz, Fine Art (Nominee)
  • Erin Maloney, Biomedical Engineering (Nominee)
  • Lauren Martinek, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Programs (Nominee)
  • Madison McEwen, History (Finalist)
  • Paige Melin, English (Winner)
  • Haleigh Morgan, English (Winner)
  • Mariangela Perrella, Dance, Psychology (Alternate)
  • Natalie Roszel, Psychology (Nominee)
  • Hanna Santanam, Anthropology (Winner)
  • Julia Schoonover, Sociology (Finalist)
  • Jenny Simon, English (Winner)
  • Matt Straub, Architecture (Winner)
  • Stanzi Vaubel, Media Study (Winner)

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships are awarded by the Department of Defense (DoD) to applicants who will pursue a doctoral degree in, or closely related to, an area of DoD interest within one of fifteen disciplines. The DoD awards fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training.

  • Emily Bonacquisti, Pharmaceutical Sciences (Nominee)
  • Stephen Carro, Chemistry (Nominee)
  • Natalie Smith, Pharmaceutical Sciences (Nominee)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support ($40,000 per year plus tuition waiver and fees) for graduate study leading to research-based masters or doctoral degrees in mathematical, physical, biological, engineering and behavioral and social sciences, including the history of science.

  • Elliot Biltekoff, Industrial and Systems Engineering (Nominee)
  • Emily Bonacquisti, Pharmaceutical Sciences (Honorable Mention)
  • Fatak Borhani, Aerospace Engineering (Nominee)
  • Christopher Bosley, Sociology (Nominee)
  • Courtney Burris, Industrial and Systems Engineering (Nominee)
  • Heather Campbell, Microbiology (Nominee)
  • Meghan Capeling, Bioengineering (Winner)
  • Destiny Diaz, Mathematics (Winner)
  • Matthew Falcone, Environmental Engineering (Winner)
  • Stephen Gagnon, Aerospace Engineering (Nominee)
  • Austin Gilbert, Chemistry (Nominee)
  • Devon Gorbey, Geology (Nominee)
  • Mitchell Hitchcock, Biological Sciences (Nominee)
  • David Karp, Geography (Nominee)
  • Olivia Licata, Materials Design and Innovation (Nominee)
  • Erin Maloney, Biomedical Engineering (Nominee)
  • Michael Montoro, Mathematics (Nominee)
  • Brandon Ruszala, Biomedical Engineering (Nominee)
  • Ty Santiago, Chemistry (Honorable Mention)
  • Olive Smith, Biomedical Engineering (Nominee)
  • Izzy Starr, Biological Sciences (Honorable Mention)
  • Hailie Suk, Environmental Engineering (Winner)
  • Anthony Taboni, Mathematics (Honorable Mention)
  • Crystal Tomlin, Biological Sciences (Nominee)

National Security Education Program: David L. Boren Scholarship

The National Security Education Program’s Boren Scholarships support undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate high levels of academic performance and strong motivation to internationalize their education by developing expertise in the languages, cultures, and world regions less commonly studied by Americans.

  • Taylor Anderson, Econometrics and Quantitative Economics (Nominee)
  • Shannon Cantlon, History (Nominee)
  • Jeannine Nwade, Political Science (Nominee)

Yenching Scholarship

The Yenching Scholarship is a highly selective interdisciplinary graduate program at the Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China. The program provides scholars with full scholarships for a one-year master’s degree.

  • Jenny Simon, English (Nominee)

SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence

This special award honors SUNY students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative and performing arts.

  • Jacob M. Bleasdale, Biomedical Sciences
  • Dylan N. Burns, Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Julia Anne Cordani, Linguistics; Music Performance
  • Destiny Diaz, Mathematics
  • Benjamin Gutsin, Business Administration
  • Gunnar J. Haberl, Political Science; Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Shaun Nowicki, English
  • Philip N. Odonkor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Katherine O’Donnell, Biomedical Sciences
  • Jessie A. Pelosi, Biological Sciences; Environmental Geosciences
  • Cheryl L. Porzi, Occupational Therapy
  • Julia V. Quebral, Mathematics; Physics
  • Tara N. Strade, English; Psychology
  • Conor J. Sullivan, Business Administration
  • Anthony R. Taboni, Mathematics; Political Science

UB Awards for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity

The UB Awards for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity recognize outstanding contributions from each decanal area that achieve superiority in presentation, content, and scope, and which therefore merit acknowledgement as efforts worthy of university-wide distinction. The University at Buffalo is pleased to recognize student projects that exhibit the highest characteristics of achievement among this select group.

Undergraduate Honorees:

  • Anna Kay Adamson, Biological Sciences
  • Puneet Agarwal, Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Ajay Baindur, Biomedical Sciences
  • Paolo Bourdeau, Civil Engineering
  • Chuxin Chen, Nursing
  • Benjamin Gutsin, Business Administration
  • Mairead Heavey, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Anna Honan, Psychology
  • Kyle Hunt, Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Andrew Kroetsch, Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Mokshada Kumar, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Shufang Liu, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Cassondra Lyman, Psychology
  • Gabriella Mameli, Dance
  • Moriah Markowitz, Dance
  • Ginger Page, Business Administration, Dance
  • Hannah Seppala, Mathematics, Physics
  • Avery Sirwatka, Urban and Public Policy
  • Christina Tribo, Dance
  • Katie Wackowski, Dance, Exercise Science
  • Tanner Wakefield, Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Dominique Weeks, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Courtney Wolff, Dance, Biomedical Engineering
  • Whitney Zimmerman, Dance

Graduate Student Honorees:

  • Rupkatha Banerjee, Biological Sciences
  • Chiahui Chen, Nursing
  • Cheryl Emerson, Comparative Literature
  • Esther Estey, Counseling, School and Educational Psychology
  • Abdulrahman Hassaballah, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
  • Amy Intini, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Andrew Irish, Social Work
  • Albert Lee, Finance
  • Jay Leipheimer, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Nicole Little, Architecture
  • Jennifer Mongiovi, Epidemiology and Environmental Health
  • Spencer Rosario, Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics
  • UB-Mexico Border Clinic Team (Sarah Grimaldi, Deonna Jones, Heather Kimmins, Rosellen Marohn, Leighann Ramirez and Charles Terranova), Law
  • Xiaoxiao Zhang, Oral Biology

UB Sigma Xi "Companions in Zealous Research" Awards

Sigma Xi is an international honor society of science and engineering. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Here at UB, the local chapter has sponsored the Sigma Xi Student Research Competition annually for over 20 years, providing a venue for UB's research community to share their work across the entirety of science and engineering. Three winning posters are selected; the student winners are presented with certificates.

  • Jennifer Mongiovi, Epidemiology and Environmental Health (1st Place)
  • Spencer Rosario, Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics (2nd Place)
  • Chiahui Chen, Nursing (3rd Place)

UB "Journey of Discovery" Library-Supported Undergraduate Research Prize

The UB “Journey of Discovery” Library-Supported Undergraduate Research Prize recognizes excellence in student research that incorporates significant use of information resources provided via the Libraries.

  • Madeline Chiarella, History

UB Clifford C. Furnas Scholar-Athlete Award

The Clifford C. Furnas Scholar-Athlete Award was established to recognize outstanding undergraduate performance in scholarship and athletic prowess, and to encourage continuation into graduate or professional education. The recipient of this award must be committed to the pursuit of subsequent graduate study in any field or discipline at any accredited college or university.

  • Chantal Marie Martínez Blanco, Economics

UB Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award

Presented annually by the Graduate School, the UB Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award acknowledges a truly outstanding dissertation researched and written by a UB doctoral student who has received a PhD from UB within the past five years. Dissertations nominated for this award are expected to be highly distinctive with the potential to make an impactful contribution to the author’s respective field of study.

  • Yumiao Zhang, Biomedical Engineering

UB Three Minute Thesis Awards

The UB Three Minute Thesis Award recognizes PhD students who have excelled in effectively explaining their research in three minutes, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. The Three Minute Thesis (3MTĀ®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia to celebrate the exciting and innovative research conducted by PhD students.

  • Riddhi Falk-Mahapatra, Cancer Sciences (1st Place and People's Choice Award)
  • Konstantinos Plakas, Chemistry (2nd Place)
  • Abdulrahman Hassaballah, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (3rd Place)

Past Honorees

View a list of past student honorees.