More than 50 seniors and 11 faculty members were recognized for outstanding achievements during the University of Notre Dame’s College of Science Dean’s Awards Luncheon.
The Dean’s Award went to Andrew Burke, a mathematics major from Stewartsville, New Jersey, and the Dean’s Research Award was presented to Allison Gatz, a biology major from Valparaiso, Indiana, during the May 13 ceremony in the Jordan Hall of Science Galleria. Additionally, Devin Diggs, a neuroscience and behavior major from Olathe, Kansas, was honored as valedictorian of University’s 2022 graduating class.
The Dean’s Award is awarded to a graduating senior in recognition of outstanding personal character, leadership, service, and academic achievement. Burke, a mathematics major with a concentration in computing, is a Glynn Family Honors Scholar, a Goldwater Scholar, and was one of only 16 recipients nationwide of a Churchill Fellowship.
He completed extensive research in algebraic geometry, and several graduate-level mathematics courses. He also volunteered with Riverbend Math Circles, worked as an offensive analyst for the Notre Dame football team, and volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club. After completing his fellowship in Cambridge as part of his Churchill Fellowship, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in mathematics.
The Dean’s Research Award is presented annually to a senior who has conducted exceptional research within and across the traditional boundaries of scholarly disciplines and who embraces, facilitates, and fosters an environment of scientific inquiry. Gatz worked with Rebecca Wingert, contributing significantly to a paper published in the journal Development —after just one semester of work in the lab. She will also be a co-first author on a high-impact publication for research into the role of estrogen signaling in development.
She received a 2020 College of Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which she could not fulfill because of lab closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a 2021 College of Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Gatz has worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences, as a personal Care Assistant for Memorial Hospital, and as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She applied “early decision” to the Indiana University School of Medicine, and was accepted.
Diggs, the Class of 2022 valedictorian, is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and an early inductee into Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and was a finalist for both the 2021 Rhodes Scholarship and a Marshall Scholarship. Upon graduation, he will first take part in a 10-week, federally funded summer internship program with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington, D.C., as one of only 22 interns chosen from more than 850 applicants.
He was also selected for a postgraduate student award from the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, and following his internship, he will use his Fulbright award to pursue a Master of Science degree in mental health in education at the University of York in England.
Diggs was involved with The Shirt Project, serving as president last year, has served as a clinic volunteer at Saint Joseph Family Medicine Center, and worked as an undergraduate teaching fellow for the God and the Good Life philosophy course. He also was a three-year research assistant in the Sleep, Stress and Memory Lab, worked for the Center for Learning and Childhood Development in Accra, Ghana, and worked at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. Additionally, he spent time in 2020 working in the developmental biopsychiatry research program through Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital.
Diggs plans to attend medical school to become a physician serving children and families affected by early life adversity.
In addition to those awards, the department chair for each major within the College of Science presented additional awards to graduating seniors.
Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics (ACMS)
Outstanding ACMS Major Award: Mengchen (Chris) Huang; Gregory Miller
Department of Biological Sciences
Outstanding Biology Student Leader Award: Abigail Abikoye
Outstanding Biological Scientist Award: Jonathan Couri, Hanna Cunniff, Jaclyn Levendusky; Carson Smith
Outstanding Environmental Scientist Award: Samuel Bosio; Joseph Gentine
Mr. and Mrs. Frank McDonald Undergraduate Research Award: Liana Arceri, Brian Dineen, Allison Gatz; Calla Sullivan
Robert Braco, M.D. Honors Research Award: Caroline Bice, Casey Leimbach, Meagan Luck
Paul W. Ware, M.D. Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award: Amanda Acevedo
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Outstanding Biochemist: Daniel Fulkerson
Outstanding Biochemistry Research: Alyssa Arbuiso
Outstanding Chemist: Gina Connors
Outstanding Chemistry Research: Andrew Christy
William R. Wisherath Outstanding Chemistry Major: Jessamine Kuehn
Chemistry and Biochemistry Leadership Award: Lauren Connelly
Royal Society of Chemistry Certificate of Excellence: Yu-Tzu Chang
ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Outstanding Senior Analytical Chemistry Student: Michael Lee
ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Outstanding Senior Inorganic Chemistry Student: Stephanie Mueller
ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Outstanding Senior Organic Chemistry Student: Nara Chung
ACS Division of Physical Chemistry Outstanding Senior Physical Chemistry Student: Jacob Smith
Department of Mathematics
Robert P. Balles Honor Program Mathematics Scholar: Andrew Burke
Robert P. Balles Distinguished Mathematics Scholar: Luke Reifenberg
Senior GE Prize for Honors Majors in Mathematics: Andrew Burke
Senior GE Prize for Mathematics Majors: Megan Laurence, Payton Lewandowski, Noah Merriman; Luke Reifenberg
The Kolettis Award in Mathematics: Tristan Dooley
The Haaser Scholarship in Mathematics: Vitor Furtado Farias, Campbell Goff, Payton Lewandowsk, Noah Merriman; Margaret Murdock
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Outstanding Physics Major: Andrew Langford
Outstanding Undergraduate Physics Research: Carrie Davis; Molly DeLuca
The Paul Chagnon Award in Physics: Jamie Harkin
Neuroscience and Behavior Major
Outstanding Undergraduate Research: Haleigh Czarnecki
Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching: Lauren Aucoin
Outstanding Undergraduate Leadership and Service: Aysha Gibson, Erica Maggelet, Kyle Moon
Universal Scholar: Stella Cho, Devin Diggs
The Lawrence H. Baldinger Award: Samuel Fallon, Anna Martino; Derek Rubadeux
The Patrick J. Niland, M.D. Award: Cameron Harmon; Adam Valenti
The Reverend Joseph L. Walter, C.S.C. Award: Stephanie Franczak; Quinn Retzloff
Samuel J. Chmell, M.D. Award: Meghan Ludke
Collegiate Sequence Award: Rachel Jennings; Brendan Maus