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Student Awards and Accomplishments

Our graduate students are routinely recognized for their accomplishments in research, teaching, and service. See below for profiles of students honored across domains.

To see the type of research our graduate students are doing see the addition menu links for manuscript, conference presentation, and dissertation titles.

Federally Funded Student Grants icon-olus-circle

Students Who Received a Predoctoral (F31) National Service Research Award (NRSA) from NIH

Jacinda Li,  advisor Jennie Noll (2018)

Prospective longitudinal study of competing mechanisms and modifiers for obesity trajectories and comorbid metabolic outcomes in normative and high-risk females

Chelsea Muth, advisor Zita Oravecz (2017)

Understanding and impacting well-being through ecological momentary assessment (EMA) design

Megan Mass, advisor Eva Lefkowitz (2015)

HIV and Substance Use Prevention Among Maltreated and Non-Maltreated Female Adolescents

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Allison Doub (2014)

Student Graduates who Received a Postdoctoral (F32) National Service Research Award (NRSA) from NIH

Amanda Griffin, (2018)

Children's Social and Academic Competence: Integrating Genetically Informed and Prevention Research


Winners of the Harold Martin Graduate Student Teaching Award icon-olus-circle

Each year Penn State honors select graduate students who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and talent in their contributions to undergraduate teaching.  HDFS is proud to have have had so many of our graduate students honored. 

Sara Freed (2018)

Briana Sprague (2017)

Kathleen Zadzora (2016)

Student Recognition from Professional Research Societies icon-olus-circle

Society for Research in Adolescence

Emerging Scholar Award Recipients

Mengya Xia, advisor Greg Fosco (2018)

Amanda Griffin, advisor Bo Cleveland (2017)


American Psychological Association (APA)

Division 20: Doctoral Dissertation Award in the Psychology of Aging

Nicole DePaquale, advisors Dave Almeida and Steve Zarit (2017)


Gerontological Society of America

Student representative to the Transportation and Aging Interest Group

Sara Freed, advisor Lesley Ross (2018)

Health and Human Development Kligman Fellows icon-olus-circle

The College of Health and Human Development selects one student per year as the recipient of the prestigious Kligman Fellowship.  Past winners include HDFS students

Briana Sprague (2018)

Amanda Griffin (2017)

Alumni Accomplishments icon-olus-circle


  • Congratulations to David Lydon-Staley (2017 graduate) who was selected as a 2018 winner of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group Dissertation Award
  • Congratulations to alumnus Frank Infurna (2012 graduate), winner of the 2017 APA Springer Early Career Achievement in Research on Adult Development and Aging


“Congratulations to Libby Benson and advisor Nilam Ram- recipients of the Innovative Research on Aging Silver Award from the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging! Read their award winning paper: Ong, A. D., Benson, L., Zautra, A. J., & Ram, N. (2018). Emodiversity and biomarkers of inflammation. Emotion, 18(1), 3-14.”