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Undergraduate Student Achievements and Awards

Congratulations to the 2020 BBH undergraduate student award winners!

Each spring, the department of biobehavioral health. holds an awards ceremony to highlight the accomplishments of the undergraduate students from that academic year. Along with the award winners, graduating Schreyer Honors Scholars, graduating Global Health Minors, and BBH Society Distinguished Members are recognized for their hard work and contributions to the department of biobehavioral health.

Along with the award winners, graduating Schreyer's Honors Scholars, graduating Global Health Minors, and BBH Society Distinguished Members are recognized for their hard work and contributions to the department of biobehavioral health.

Undergraduate Student Award Winners icon-olus-circle
  • Alexandra Stone, College of Health and Human Development Student Marshal
  • Hannah Supplee, BBH Student Marshal
  • Laura Guay, Edith Pitt Chace Award
  • Henry Defeskey, College of Health and Human Development Student Service Award
  • Jocelyn Dialectos, Alumni Recognition of Student Excellence Award
  • Jessica Walton, Helen Skade Hintz Biobehavioral Health Scholarship
  • Jocelyn Dialectos, Rachel E. Abraham Award
BBH Schreyer Honors Scholars icon-olus-circle
  • Jocelyn Dialectos
  • Grace Harris
  • Ellie Manca
  • Alexandra Stone
  • Nataliya Perkhalyuk
Global Health Minors icon-olus-circle
  • San Juana Mendez Aranda
  • Connor Buerk
  • Lyzberthe Chery
  • Katilin Cole
  • Madison Evans
  • Dagny Gould
  • Jamie Kennedy
  • Kathryn Leite
  • Alexandra Marcel
  • Joseph McDoal
  • Maya Mosier
  • Brooke Nartey
  • Johanna Nasman
  • Skyler Nordmeyer
  • Eric Petroski
  • Mackenzie Sheetz
  • Allyson Stump
  • Hannah Supplee
  • Alexandra Wagner
  • Scott Wagner
  • Abbygail Ward
  • Jillian Zablocki
BBH Society Distinguished Members icon-olus-circle
  • Abigail Dunay
  • Jess Baryluk
  • Carly Belko
  • Madi Burns
  • Alexis Crawford
  • Jocelyn Dialectos
  • Sam Etkins
  • DeLaney Hyatt
  • Reilly Johnston-Walsh
  • Erin Lis
  • Tori Malloy
  • Marca Miller
  • Andrea Moenkemoeller
  • MacKenzie Sheetz
  • Chrissie Shin
  • Sara Soliman
  • Rachel Spanitz
  • Janine Whalen
  • Corrine Winters
  • Sophie Zientek

Graduate Student Achievements and Awards

The COVID-19 pandemic can't slow graduate students' achievements

This summer, despite all the changes due to the pandemic, BBH graduate students remained remarkably productive, earning degrees, fellowships, and awards. Congratulations to our amazing students for their outstanding work and for the recognition they have received.

Graduate Student Award Winners icon-olus-circle
  • Laural Mayer-Etzel (I. Shalev) 2019-20 Elizabeth J. Susman Enhancement Fund Award
  • Sarah Gioia (J. Rosenberger) 2020 Graduate Student Teaching Award
  • Emily Jones (H. Schreier) 2020 Gerald E. McClearn Graduate Student Award
  • David Reichenberger (A. Chang) 2020 Graduate Student Scientific Achievement Research Award
External BBH/Penn State Graduate Student Award Winners icon-olus-circle
  • Dana Zeid (T. Gould) received an NIH F31 fellowship award for her research titled, "Effects of paternal nicotine exposure on sncRNA expression in sire sperm and offspring hippocampus"
  • Katja Waldron (R. Turrisi) received a fellowship from the Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) T32 training grant.
  • Constanza Silva Gallardo (H. Kamens) received a second year of fellowship funding from the Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) T32 training grant.
  • Samuel Stull (S. Lanza) received an NSF award for his research titled, "Positive mood: Dynamic changes and hidden subgroups in real time and context"
  • Emily Jones (M. Russell) received funding from the NIH Biomedical Big Data to Knowledge (B2D2K) T32 Award (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State)
  • Elyse McMahon, IGDP graduate student (S. Cavigelli) received funding from the NIH Biomedical Big Data to Knowledge (B2D2K) T32 Award (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State).
  • Leslie Ford (A. Rosinger) received funding from the NIH Social Environments and Populations Health T32 Award (Population Research Institute, Penn State)
  • Laurel Seemiller, IDGP graduate student (T. Gould) received an NIH/NIGMS-sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training (T32) program entitled “Research Training in Physiological Adaptations to Stress”.
  • Marzieh Majd and Jasmine Caulfield (Neuroscience IGDP) received the 2020 Alumni Association Dissertation Award
Cohort Graudations icon-olus-circle

This year, BBH celebrated the spring and summer graduations of five of its cohort:

  • Dusti Jones (J. Graham-Engeland) - Dusti Jones accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship position in the Department of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State with Josh Smyth.
  • Bradley Trager (R. Turrisi) - Trager accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship position at Loyola Marymount University, Psychology Research Lab with Joe LaBrie.
  • Marzieh Majd (C. Engeland) - Majd accepted a Rice Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship position at Rice University, Psychological Sciences, with Christopher Fagundes.
  • Frank Materia (J. Smyth) - Materia accepted a Postdoctoral Research Scholarship position in the Department of Health Services and Outcomes Research at Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri.  Materia will work with Kathy Goggin and Delwyn Catley.
  • Jessica Salas-Brooks, (J. Graham-Engeland) - Salas-Brooks is planning to pursue a career in the field of public health.

Fall 2020 (to be conferred December 2020):

  • Waylon Hastings, (I. Shalev)
  • Marina Armendariz, (I. Wray)

These scholars moved on to exciting new postdoctoral fellowships and research scholarship positions, including in Texas, Missouri, and California.

Incoming 2020 Graduate Student Cohort icon-olus-circle
  • Lauren Chu, (K. Murdock)
  • Aishwarya Ganguli, (H. Schreier)
  • Shannon Glenn, (R. Turrisi)
  • Lourdes Perez, (A. Snipes)
  • Shannon White, (J. Smyth)
  • Qiaofeng Ye, (I. Shalev)

Faculty and Staff Achievements and Awards

Faculty and Staff accomplishments

Like our students, our faculty and staff have continued their amazing teaching, service, support, and research during the pandemic. This year, BBH has worked under many adverse conditions to keep the department running, facilitate student success, and contribute to scientific knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic and many other topics.

Promotions icon-olus-circle
  • Anne-Marie Chang, Associate Professor
  • Helen Kamens, Associate Professor
  • Elizabeth Lasher, Associate Teaching Professor
  • Idan Shalev, Associate Professor
Research icon-olus-circle
  • Steve Kodish has been named a finalist in the American Society for Nutrition’s Nutrition Translation Award Program, which recognizes outstanding early-career scientists and clinicians interested in translating their research to a defined audience to improve public health and/or health outcomes.
  • Asher Rosinger received a Center for Security and Education Research Seed grant for his project titled, "Water (In)Security: Health Impacts and Drinking Water Wells in Pennsylvania."
  • Orfeu Buxton received funding from the National Institute on Aging for his project titled, "A non-pharmacological multi-modal therapy to improve sleep and cognition and reduce mild cognitive impairment risk." This project is a team effort that also involves BBH faculty Margeaux Gray (project leader), Mike Russell and Chris Engeland.
  • Josh Smyth and Jill Johnson received a collaborative grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for their project titled, “Study of a PST-Trained Voice-Enabled Artificial Intelligence Counselor (SPEAC) for Adults with Emotional Distress.”
  • Stephanie Lanza and Courtney Whetzel, former mentee of Laura Klein, presented on the Penn State CORE (College Relationships and Experiences) project to help PSU alums learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the lives of Penn State undergraduates.
Teaching and Mentoring icon-olus-circle
  • Julie States tried something different to liven up class following spring break ― bring your parent or roommate/friend to class day!  Creative ideas like this are probably one reason she received a HHD Teaching Excellence Award in 2018-2019.
  • Marie Cross and Beth Edwards received grants from the Schreyer Institute of Teaching Excellence to support their residential and World Campus teaching respectively.
  • Melina Czymoniewicz-Klippel received an award from the Student Engagement Network to develop a series of immersive virtual tours to support undergraduate students in developing empathy towards the health experiences of populations globally.
  • Elizabeth Lasher supported Dean Craig Newschaffer in preparing to teach a section of the BBH first year seminar in fall 2020.
  • Emma Domico, a BBH senior working with David Vandenbergh, won an honorable mention in the Information Literacy category for her Undergraduate Research Day poster. Upon graduation, Emma was accepted into the Teach for America program.
  • Anna Wickenheisser and Aidan Peat, undergraduate students working with Helen Kamens, were awarded Student Engagement Network grants to support their summer research. A news story about Aidan’s project is here.
Community and Professional Service icon-olus-circle
  • David Vandenbergh and Chris Engeland organized the collection of more than 500 protective masks and 1,200 pairs of gloves for essential workers; Idan Shalev helped with their delivery. 
  • Amy Snipes has undertaken an advisory role for farmworkers during the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • Laura Klein formed a "BBH Stay Connected" book and movie club for members of the department.
  • Lori Francis participated in a thought-provoking and inspiring video interview with Eric Foley on health disparities and COVID-19.
  • Dana Naughton and Liz Lasher worked with the PA Department of Health to create a new fieldwork internship for students to train and serve as contact tracers for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
  • JoAnn Foley-DeFiore taught several webinars for the US Forest Service on "Understanding Racism and Creating Institutional Pathways to Allyship." JoAnn is currently serving as interim Director of Penn State’s Sustainability Minor. 
  • Marc Dingman was asked by the College of Health and Human Development to co-lead the Committee on Remote First-Year Engagement.
  • Dana Naughton created an alliance with the Penn State Center in Philadelphia leading to new opportunities for student engagement, training and work on symposia, issues and other events relating to social justice issues, as well as research opportunities in food insecurity issues in Philadelphia.
  • Orfeu Buxton has taken over the reigns as Editor in Chief of the Journal Sleep Health.
  • Shelli Stine served on the Faculty Senate task force to develop COVID related academic policies including alternative grading, as well as the Academic Policies and Procedures team charged by the Provost to develop implementation guidelines for the COVID-related policies for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020. Shelli also served on the university wide Policies and Procedures for the Transition to Remote Learning this fall and is currently serving on the Continuity of Learning team for Spring 2021.
Media Articles icon-olus-circle

Alumni and Friends Accolades

During 2020, resilience and achievement are not unique to people who are at Penn State right now. Our network or amazing alumni and friends has continued to contribute and achieve in their chose fields.

Alumni icon-olus-circle
  • Erik Knight, former postdoctoral scholar mentored by Chris Engeland (and co-mentored by Jennifer Graham-Engeland), accepted a tenure track position in the Social Psychology Program at the University of Colorado.
  • Michelle Martin Romero, former mentee of Lori Francis, accepted a position as a tenure-track, Assistant Professor of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 
  • Jerod Stapleton, former mentee of Rob Turrisi, has been appointed Assistant Dean for Research at the University of Kentucky.
  • Brian Saltsman, former mentee of Steve Petrill, has been appointed interim Chief Diversity Officer of Alfred University.
  • Donaldson Conserve, former mentee of Gary King, received a 2020 Emerging Professional – Graduate Degree Award. This award is given by the HHD Alumni Society Board to recent HHD graduates who demonstrate professional excellence and/or exemplary voluntary community involvement in HHD professions. 
Former Faculty icon-olus-circle

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