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 3.8 or higher.

Congratulations to this year's recipients

Kennedy Crowder, C’22

Kennedy is an English Honors major with a minor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her research is focused on understanding the ways in which literature by authors from minoritized groups with minority subjects can play a critical role in driving a more informed and nuanced conversation on race. Kennedy is the founder of Black Penn English, a discussion platform for Black members of the English Department. She has also contributed as an editor to several of Penn’s student-run publications. As a Marshall Scholar, Kennedy plans to pursue a master’s in Black Humanities at the University of Bristol and a master’s in English Literary Studies at the University of York.

Image of Arnav Lal
Arnav Lal, C’23

Arnav is a four-major University Scholar (Biophysics, Biology, Philosophy, Physics) who is also on track to obtain a master’s in Physics while completing his undergraduate degree. A prolific researcher and writer, he has co-authored five peer-reviewed articles, three of which he first-authored. Arnav’s research at Penn Fertility Care and in Professor Paul Planet’s lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has covered an array of methods, from philosophical analysis of embryo utilization, to biophysical modelling of physiological states in embryology, to pathogenic bioinformatics analysis.  He has presented at numerous national conferences and was a Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow for the 2020-2021 Forum on Choice. Arnav has also served as a research mentor to undergraduates and medical students.

Michele Caroline Meline, C’22, G’22

Michele is a scholar in the Vagelos Molecular Life Sciences program majoring in Biochemistry and Biophysics and submatriculating in a master’s in Chemistry program.  She has been honored with a Vagelos Science Challenge Award, a Goldwater Scholarship, and a Merck American Chemical Society Scholar Award. Her current research with Jeremy Wilusz, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, focuses on the biogenesis, functions, and regulations of circular RNAs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Michele also works as a tutor in chemistry and math, and is an editor for UnEarthed Penn, a publication for underserved youth in Philadelphia. Michele intends to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in biochemistry and research genomic-based therapies for disease

Image of Sarah Payne
Sarah Payne, C’22

Majoring in Linguistics with a second major in Computer Science, Sarah is praised as an inspiring scholar whose research interests lie at the intersection of computational linguistics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and cognitive modelling.  One research focus for Sarah is using algorithmic approaches in the design of more robust Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools. She will present her research this year at the 96th Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Sarah is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Chair of Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP), a Penn student group. Charles Yang, Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science, lauds Sarah’s efforts to raise awareness about sexual assault, promote student safety, and increase diversity in STEM fields such as computer science and cognitive science.

Mira Potter-Schwartz, C’22

Mira is an Economics major who excels in two very different areas, mathematical economics and music. She was a researcher on a major National Science Foundation project, “Using New Longitudinal Linked Data to Investigate the Determinants of Educational Attainment and Achievement in Mexico.” Her senior thesis uses data from this project to investigate gender differences between objective and subjective teacher evaluation measures, answering questions such as: “How do student evaluations of teachers vary based on the gender of the teacher,” and “Do students perform better when their teacher is of the same gender?” Jere Behrman, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics, notes that no such studies exist and that Mira’s thesis will make an important contribution to “the applied economics and educational literature on teacher effectiveness.”

Jonathan Szeto, C’22

Majoring in Earth Sciences and Political Science, Jonathan is recognized for his deep commitment to environmental public service and addressing the impact of air pollution on human health. A 2021 Udall Scholar, Jonathan has conducted extensive research on the effects of air pollution in Philadelphia’s subway system, advocating for the installation of air quality monitors on subway platforms. Jonathan is a member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Youth Advisory Council, and has completed internships at both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of State. At Penn, Jonathan founded the Public Transportation Initiative to promote the use of public transportation among students and co-founded The Environmental Exchange, a journal highlighting local environmental news.

Nicholas Thomas-Lewis, C’22

Nicholas is majoring in Cognitive Science and Health and Societies with a minor in Neuroscience. His professors note his intellectual tenacity and conviction towards interrogating and evaluating issues of adolescent addiction, including studying multifactorial reasons that lead adolescents to addiction and ways in which we can dismantle the social, cultural, medical, and environmental conditions that contribute to this issue. Nicholas’ strong commitment to community engagement is demonstrated through his volunteer efforts, which include working with high school students as a speech coach and mentoring schoolchildren in literacy. He is also an accomplished varsity athlete and Captain of Penn’s varsity cheer team. As a Rhodes Scholar, Nicholas plans to pursue master’s degrees in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation and in medical anthropology at Oxford University.

Nicolas (Nico) Fonseca, C’22

As a double major in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Latinx Studies, Nicolas explores the subversive possibilities of film and filmmaking, particularly materialist notions of sensation and space-time in Latin American and Indigenous cinemas, as well as decolonial pedagogy and practice. Jean-Michel Rabaté, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, notes that Nico stands out among his peers and engages actively with many different areas of study including literary theory, continental philosophy, world history, film analysis, and comparative anthropology. His current research works to bridge the gap between Marxist assertions regarding revolutionary pedagogy and non-Western traditions of thought. Nico is both a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow and Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow.

Adam Zheleznyak, C’22, G’22

As a University Scholar majoring in Mathematics, Adam is also pursuing a master’s degree in Mathematics. His research centers around algebraic topology with a particular focus on how to apply novel computational methods to the dynamics of biological regulatory networks. With a reputation as a highly sophisticated thinker, Adam has been selected twice for the prestigious University of Chicago’s Mathematics Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). His most recent work in this program involved studying connections between discrete Morse theory and finite topological spaces. Adam has also worked as a researcher on projects administered through Imperial College London and Rutgers University. Adam is a teaching assistant and Co-President of Penn Undergraduate Math Society, and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha

Zoe Belardo, C’21 Carson Eckhard, C’21 Danielle Miles-Langaigne, C’21
Jean Chapiro, C’21 Regina Fairbanks, C’21 Varun Sudunagunta, C’21
Annah Chollett, C’21 Adam Konkol, C’21, G’21 Abigail Timmel, C’20, G’20


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