Dean's Scholars

Each spring, at the Dean's Forum, the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences recognizes nine College students for their outstanding academic achievements. Students are nominated by faculty from among those with a grade point average of 3.7 or higher.

Congratulations to this year's recipients

Zoe Belardo, C’21

Zoe (Anthropology) is a senior focusing her studies on Medical Anthropology and Global Health, with minor in Neuroscience. A member of Penn’s GlobeMed chapter, Belardo has undertaken several research experiences throughout her degree. She was a member of Assistant Professor Morgan Hoke’s Biocultural Anthropology Methods Laboratory Research Group (BAMLab) and also worked as a research assistant in the Mixed Methods Lab at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where she helped code qualitative data about health care experiences. She expanded this work further as a volunteer clinical assistant in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, interviewing attending physicians and families involved in the care of children with medically complex disorders. Hoke calls Belardo a “highly skilled, thorough, and thoughtful researcher” and “a true representative of Penn.” Belardo plans to attend medical school after graduating.

Jean Chapiro, C’21

Jean (Communication, Cinema & Media Studies, Visual Studies) has been described by faculty as a “truly original” and “exceptionally talented filmmaker and scholar.” She is a triple major with a minor in Consumer Psychology, and is ambitiously completing two theses as part of her degree. Both theses focus on women’s relationships with food and their bodies. In one, she explores how the notion of “hunger” (literally and metaphorically) gets mobilized to frame individual failure and success in contemporary popular media. Through her research, Chapiro combines theory and practice, writing and film, and quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Outside of class, Chapiro applies her interests through film, writing, and photographic work for Penn Appétit magazine, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and t-art magazine, as well as volunteer work with various community organizations and local schools.

Annah Chollett, C’21

Annah (Gender & Women’s Studies, Neuroscience) is praised as an inspiring scholar and dexterous thinker whose research interests focus on the intersection of mental health and reproductive health for incarcerated women. Faculty note that her “intelligence, empathy, and drive to be a force for good” is demonstrated through her myriad volunteer efforts, particularly with programs focused on criminal justice reform. She has worked with the Petey Greene Tutoring Program; the Philadelphia Incarcerated Women’s Working Group; as Penn’s campus liaison for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM); as Student Coordinator of the Cell to Home project; and as a teaching assistant in an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course which connects Penn students with incarcerated women at Riverside Correctional Facility. Chollett has been honored with both a Truman Scholarship and Marshall Scholarship and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation at Oxford.

Carson Eckhard, C’21

Carson (English, History), a University Scholar, focuses her research on the history of justice and its modern policy implications, with a particular interest in addressing mass incarceration. Eckhard, also a research fellow at the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, has been a key contributor to the Penn and Slavery Project, uncovering past linkages to slavery and racial science in Penn’s medical school. Her work on this project was recognized with a Pincus-Magaziner Family Undergraduate Research Grant and the Department of History’s Jeanette Nichols Prize. Eckhard is completing two senior theses, one in History on the practice of “convict leasing” in Florida, and one in English on the literature, poetry, and song lyrics of incarcerated individuals across the American South. Professor Margo Crawford calls Eckhard “a visionary scholar who makes her public service inseparable from her scholarship.” Her activism with social justice organizations has been far-reaching and she notably launched the Terrance Lewis Liberation Foundation in support of recent exoneree Terrance Lewis. Eckhard will pursue a J.D./Ph.D. in History upon graduation.

Regina Fairbanks, C’21

Regina (Biology) is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar whose research focuses on the study of ancient life at the molecular level. Assistant Professor Mia Levine credits Fairbanks’ innovative scholarship for leading to a breakthrough in understanding seasonal variations in the lifespan of female fruit flies. As a Penn Museum Fellow, Fairbanks worked in the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials analyzing botanical remains from an archaeological site in Israel to understand agricultural practices in the Early Bronze Age. She was a National Science Foundation intern at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where she was selected to present her research at a poster session. Throughout her undergraduate career, her activism has been aimed at expanding inclusion and diversity in science. As a leader of both Penn’s Geology Society and the campus chapter of Out in Stem (oSTEM), she organizes recruiting and networking events for LGBTQ+ students. Fairbanks also organized a Women in Red ‘Wiki-thon’ at Penn that added Wikipedia entries on notable women affiliated with the Penn Museum. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, she has been honored with a Goldwater Scholarship and intends to pursue a Ph.D. in biology. 

Adam Konkol, C’21, G’21

Adam (Biochemistry, Biophysics, Mathematics, and Physics) is a scholar in the Vagelos Molecular Life Sciences program who is also pursuing a master’s in physics. He has received a Vagelos Science Challenge Award and been honored with both a Goldwater Scholarship and Churchill Scholarship. Associate Professor Eleni Katifori describes Konkol as “a phenomenal student researcher, one that comes by once every several years.” Katifori has supervised Konkol’s interdisciplinary network science research, which has ranged from studying blood vessels in the brain to modelling tidal effects on river deltas to analyzing the spread of COVID-19 through studying county-level data. He has a growing list of high-impact publications across several fields as co-author or co-first author. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year, Konkol is also a tireless teacher who works as a tutor, peer advisor, physics teaching assistant, and chemistry workshop leader.

Danielle Miles-Langaigne, C’21

Danielle (Political Science) is a senior whose passion for dismantling the systemic oppression of marginalized identities led her to create an individualized concentration in Intersectionality Studies within her major. Professor Herman Beavers calls Miles-Langaigne the kind of scholar “that transforms disciplines, shakes them out of their lethargy and gives them social resonance.” Her senior thesis examines the disproportionate discipline meted out to high-school girls of color in the American education system, compared with white girls and boys, or even boys of color. Miles-Langaigne has studied abroad in Australia, doing research on indigenous studies. Her civic engagement and social justice efforts are wide-ranging; she mentors adolescent students of color through the Ase Academy and was selected as a Humanity in Action John Lewis Fellow. Miles-Langaigne also interned in the office of a Philadelphia City Council member, contributing to a bill to secure fair scheduling and predictable pay for service workers.

Varun Sudunagunta, C’21

Varun (Neuroscience) is a University scholar and research assistant in the Mortimer Poncz Lab in the Division of Hematology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Sudunagunta’s biomedical research with Brian Estevez, Penn-PORT Fellow at the Perelman School of Medicine, uses in vitro disease models to study the molecular mechanisms of the RUNX1 haploinsufficiency, with the goal of developing therapies for patients with associated conditions. Estevez says that Sudunagunta’s research “advances our understanding of the association between the platelet defects and leukemia propensity in these patients.” Prior to his work at the Poncz Lab, Sudunagunta was an Endocrinology Clinical Assistant in the Diabetes Research Center at CHOP, where he led patient recruitment for multiple clinical trials. He serves as the Operations Coordinator for Camp Kesem, and is also recognized in his program as being an exceptional teaching assistant with a “contagious energy.” Following graduation, Sudunagunta will attend medical school.

Abigail Timmel, C’20, G’20

Abigail (Physics) has been recognized by faculty as one of Penn’s most outstanding young scientists. Honored with a Churchill scholarship, Timmel graduated in Fall 2020 on an accelerated timeline, with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in physics. She works as a technical assistant in the laboratory of Professor Eugene Mele, who calls her “a truly exceptional talent” and “one of the best two students” he has encountered. Her research with Mele focuses on theoretical condensed matter, specifically on developing a theory for electronic phenomena in one-dimensional moiré heterostructures.  With Mele, Timmel has published a paper in Physical Review Letters as co-first author, with more publications to follow. During her degree, she served on the board of Women in Physics at Penn for two years.

Fahad Ahmed, C’20 Melisande McLaughlin, C’20 Christina Steele, C’20
Omkar Katta, C’20 Leo Sarbanes, C’20 Piotr Wojcik, C’20
Srinivas Mandyam, C’20, G’20 Adithya Sriram, C’20, EAS’20 Qingyang (Freya) Zhou, C’20


Angus (Gus) Beane, C’19, G’19 Marcello Chang, C’19, GEng’19 Stephen Damianos, C’19
Eric Eisner, C’19 Nicholas Joyner, C’19 Mark Macerato, C’19, G’19
Deborah Rabinovich, C’19 Alexandra Siwulec, C’19, W’19 Derek Willie, C’19
Madeline (Maddie) Andrews, C’18 Alexis Ciambotti, C’18 Christopher D’Urso, C’18, GLPS’18
Adnan Zikri Jaafar, C’18, W’18 Claudia Kassner, C’18 Ivana Kohut, C’18
Tiberu Mihaila, C’19 Helena Von Nagy, C’18 Jimin Yoon, C’18
Isabella Auchus, C'17 Kevin Chen, C’18, G’18 Jordan Doman, C’17, G’17
Jaron Ma, C’17, EAS’17 Darby Marx, C’17 Sheridan Small, C’18
C’17, G’17 Kaitlyn Ugoretz, C’17, G’17 Sarah Wilson, C’17
Hannah Bucklin, C'16 Lucia Calthorpe, C'16 Neil Cholli, C'16
Laura Christians, C'16 Jennifer Hebert, C'16 Zachery Iton, C'17
Nicholas McGreivy, C'17 Kate Samuelson, C'17 Zeno Washburne, C'16
Deqa Farah, C'15 Xingting Gong, C'15 Vanessa Koh, C'16
Kimberly Kolor, C'15 Allison Siegenfeld, C'16, G'16 Elana Stern, C'15
Stefan Torborg, C'16 Emmett Wynn, C'15 Aisling Zhao, C'15
Michael Boreen, C'15, G'15 Christina Economy, C'14 Rachel Eisenberg, C'15
Vinicius Ferreira, C'15 Ben Freedman, C'14 Aleksandra (Saasha) Igdalova, C'14
Dahlia Klein, C'15 Ting Cho Lau, C'14 Rosaline Zhang, C'14
Priyanka Anand, C'13, W'13 Christopher Burcheri, C'14 Colin Fadzen, C'13, G'13
Sarah Foster, C'14, G'14 Kenneth Ginsburg, C'14, W'14 Vinayak Dumar, C'13, G'13
Marguerite Leone, C'13 James Sadler, C'13 Kalwen Zhu, C'14
Robert J. Berg, C'13 David E. Dunning, C'12, G'12 Anna C. Dusenbery, C'12
Matthew S. Klein, C'13 Shirley W. Leung, C'13, GLPS'12 Michael J. Masciandaro, C'12
Michael L. Morse, C'13 Ashley M. Reinchardt, C'12, G'12 Nicholas J. Rosculet, C'13
Ioana Aron, C'12, G'12 Ilana Cohen, C'11, G'11 Lauren Kapsalakis, C'11, G'11
Kathryn Llewellyn, C'12 Eileen Moison, C'12 Benjamin Moskowitz, C'12, G'12
Daniel Shiff, C'11 Jessica Wetstone, C'11 Doyle Yuan, C'11, G'11
Sarah Basham, C’10 Matthew Berck, C’10, G’10 Ava Childers, C’10
Paul Martin, C’12 Tariro Mupombwa, C’10 Luv Patel, C’10, G’10
Arber Tasimi, C’11 Linh Truong, C’11, G’11 Valeria Tsygankova, C’11
Phillip Benedetti, C'10, G'10 Thomas Dreisbach, C'09 Farhaan Hafeez, C'09, G'09
Kendall Hoechst, C'09 Sumeet Khetarpal, C'10 Benjamin Laitman, C'10, G'11
Alexander Lessie, C'09 Stefan Sapo, C'10, G'10 Hayley Walker, C'09
Jennifer Cohen Jane Kim Cynthia Padera
Elizabeth Raposa Naveed Rashid Alex Shaw
Serena Stein Lauren Wozniak Zhe Xu
Heather Alpino Kelly Asao Jessica Dweck
Brandon Egren Richard Lawrence Nuala McCullagh
Robert Medina Paul Scherer Benjamin Stinson
Sujit Sankar Datta Alex Dubilet Sara Gorman
Elizabeth Gurney Robert Henderson Steven Hershman
Tara Kaufman Andrea Seligman Jenny Suen
Heather Alpino Kelly Asao Jessica Dweck
Brandon Egren Richard Lawrence Nuala McCullagh
Robert Medina Paul Scherer Benjamin Stinson
Lauren Barr Jonathan Bronson Simon Brooke
Sarah Chesney Jeffrey Cohen Sonali Mishra
Michael Tseng Lauren Zeitels Nicholas Zwang
Laura Chang Dominic DiPlantino Peera Jaru-Ampornan
Eric Knibbs Jason Lewis Erica Miao
Katie Turner Avshalom Rubin James Shaw
Laura Geller Catherine LeGraw Vijay Sankaran
Rodrigo Guerra Afia Ofori-Mensa Daniel Stahl
Sanjay Kasturi Jean-Francois Mondon Anita Yu
AIlya Elson Jed Gross Daniel Sherman
Julie Brown Michelle Robbins Jacob Stahl
Susannah Engstrom David Scales Kathy Vernovsky
William Cook Joshua Gruber Anne Mani
Victor Essen Kristina Marie Herbert Tereza Slepickova
Gregory Grason Eric Lomazoff Amanda Tiffany
    Vikram Udani