Dean of Academic Life

Prestigious Awards Initiative

The Prestigious Awards Initiative seeks to assist undergraduates and recent graduates engage in a process of reflection upon their education, inside and outside the classroom, their values, and their life goals in order to enhance success in applying for opportunities that will enable them to realize their goals (e.g. nationally prestigious awards, graduate or professional study). 

Opportunities include significant student research and presentation, study abroad, and meaningful volunteer and service-learning work.  The process acknowledges the different levels of readiness of students, from first year through postgraduate.  Included are many opportunities to work with faculty awards advisors and the Dean, including an intensive mock application and interview program during the Junior year, whose reward is a $1000 Presidential Scholarship.  Since the inception of the Initiative, over 163 awards, finalist statuses, and honorable mentions have been earned by Muhlenberg students and recent graduates. 

Whether students receive an award or not, the process has helped all students get to know themselves better and present themselves better in future competitions and in postgraduate careers.  Close work with faculty who teach, advise, and inspire these students is central to success.


2016 - 2017

William Fulbright - The Fulbright is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The award subsidizes one year’s teaching or study abroad. Chris Herrick, Political Science, is the advisor to the Fulbright.

  • Aliya Gangji '17.  Finalist.  Aliya majored in Computer Science and Spanish.  She studied at the St. Louis University in Spain during her Junior year.
  • Gillian Irwin '13.  Recipient.  Critical Language Enhancement Award.  Gillian was a Dana Scholar and majored in Music and English.  She won her first Fulbright in 2013 and received a Muhlenberg Dean's Summer Research Grant in 2012.
  • Katherine Kapelsohn '17.  Finalist.  Katherine majored in Neuroscience and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies. 
  • Arissa Lahr '17.  Finalist.  Arissa majored in International Studies and minored in Sustainability Studies.  She studied at the University of Amsterdam in Netherlands during her Junior year.

National Science Foundation - The NSF awards $34,000 per year, plus $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to students embarking on graduate study in the sciences.  Bruce Wightman, Biology, is the advisor to the NSF.

  • Melanie Ferrara '15.  Recipient.  Melanie majored in Philosophy & Political Thought and created a self-designed major in Gender & Sexuality.  She was a Truman and Fulbright Finalist, won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior, and was a recipient of a Summer Research Grant, all in 2014.
  • Lauren Warning '16.  Honorable Mention.  Lauren majored in Chemistry and minored in Mathematics and Public Health.               
  • Ian Smith '14.  Honorable Mention.  Ian majored in Biochemistry and minored in Mathematics.
  • Macauley Breault '15.  Honorable Mention.  Macauley majored in Physical Science and Mathematics. She was a Dana Scholar. She received Honorable Mention for a Goldwater, while attending Muhlenberg.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Scholarship - The Schwarzman is for graduate study in multicultural leadership at Tsinghua University in China.  Chris Herrick, Political Science, is the advisor to the Schwarzman.

  • Mahsheed Mahjor '17.  Semi-Finalist.  Mahsheed majored in International Studies and created a self-designed major in Women in the Socio-Political World.  She won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior in 2016.

St. Andrew’s Society - The regional award carries a $23,000 stipend for one year’s study in Scotland. Donna Kish-Goodling and Susan Norling, Office of Global Education, are the advisors to the St. Andrew’s.

  • Glenna Jones '19.  Recipient.  Glenna is majoring in Music and English.  She will study at the University of Glasgow in Scotland during her Junior year.

Harry S. Truman - The Truman is a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study in preparation for a career in public service.   Students are chosen because of outstanding leadership potential.  Michele Moser Deegan, Political Science, is the advisor to the Truman. 

  • Devin Domeyer '18.  Finalist.  Devin is majoring in Environmental Science and pursuing minors in Sustainability Studies and Political Science.  She won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior.

Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall - The Udall awards up to $7,000 to students who demonstrate potential for significant contributions in a career related to improving or preserving the environment.  Chris Borick, Political Science, is the advisor to the Udall.

  • Devin Domeyer '18.  Recipient.  Devin was also a Truman finalist (see above).


2015 - 2016

National Science Foundation - The NSF awards $30,000 per year, plus $10,500 cost-of-education allowance to students embarking on graduate study in the sciences. Bruce Wightman, Biology, is the advisor to the NSF.

  • Alexa Carollo '14. Recipient. Alexa majored in Chemistry and Physics. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received Honors in Chemistry at graduation.

St. Andrew's Society McFarland - The regional award carries a $23,000 stipend for one year's study in Scotland. Donna Kish-Goodling and Susan Norling, Office of Global Education, are the advisors to the St. Andrew's.

  • Alexandra Tendler '18. Recipient. Alexandra is majoring in English and Finance. She will study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland during her Junior year.

Robert & Patricia Switzer Fellowship - The foundation invests in individuals and organizations that drive positive environmental change. It is a grantmaking organization that mobilizes leaders from diverse disciplines who focus on integrated solutions to environmental issues.

  • Jacob Glass '13 . Recipient. Jacob majored in Environmental Science and International Studies. He was a RJ Fellow, a recipient of a Truman Scholarship, a Udall Award, and was recognized as a National Collegiate Honors Council Student of the Year. Jacob also received a Muhlenberg College Presidential Award and a Muhlenberg's Future Alumni Leader Award.

 
2014 - 2015

J. William Fulbright - The Fulbright is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  The award subsidizes one year’s teaching or study abroad.  Chris Herrick, Political Science, is the advisor to the Fulbright.

  • Melanie Ferrara '15.  Finalist.  Melanie majored in Philosophy & Political Thought and self-design in Gender & Sexuality.  She won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior.  She was a recipient of a Summer Research Grant in 2014.
  • Tyler McKechnie '14.  Recipient.  Tyler majored in Neuroscience and Theatre. 

National Science Foundation - The NSF awards $30,000 per year, plus $10,500 cost-of-education allowance to students embarking on graduate study in the sciences.  Bruce Wightman, Biology, is the advisor to the NSF.

  • Hudson Roth ’14.  Honorable Mention.  Hudson was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He majored in Chemistry. 
  • Jaclyn Durkin ’13.  Recipient.  Jaclyn was a Dana Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  She majored in Neuroscience and minored in Mathematics.  She was awarded a Muhlenberg Dean’s Summer Research Grant in 2012.
  • Amanda Meier ’13.  Recipient.  Amanda was a Muhlenberg Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  She majored in Biology and Environmental Science.  She was a Goldwater Recipient in 2012 and an Honorable Mention in 2011.  Amanda was also an Udall Honorable Mention in 2012 and was awarded a Muhlenberg Dean’s Summer Research Grant in 2011.  She was a winner of a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior in 2012.
  • Lucas Michelotti ’12.  Honorable Mention.  Lucas majored in Biology and Environmental Science. 

St. Andrew’s Society - The regional award carries a $22,000 stipend for one year’s study in Scotland.  Donna Kish-Goodling and Susan Norling, Office of Global Education, are the advisors to the St. Andrew’s.

  • Nicholas Cunningham ’17.  Recipient.  Nicholas is majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Public health.  He studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland during his Junior year.

Harry S. Truman - The Truman is a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study in preparation for a career in public service.   Students are chosen because of outstanding leadership potential.  Michele Moser Deegan, Political Science, is the advisor to the Truman. 

  • Erin Gistaro '16.  Finalist.  Erin majored in Political Science and American Studies.  She won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Promise for Postgraduate Study by a Junior. 


2013 - 2014

Barry M. Goldwater - The program awards up to $7,500 annually for a maximum of two years to students with a demonstrated commitment to a career in science or math, excluding medical school.  Joseph Keane, Chemistry, is the advisor to the Goldwater.

  • James Custer, Jr. ’15.  Honorable Mention.  James majored in Chemistry and pursued a minor in Mathematics. He was a Dana Scholar.
  • Macauley Breault ’15.  Honorable Mention.  Macauley majored in Physical Science and Mathematics.  She was a Dana Scholar.

J. William Fulbright - The Fulbright is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  There are teaching (ETA) Fulbrights and study Fulbrights.  The award subsidizes one year’s teaching or study abroad.  Chris Herrick, Political Science, is the advisor to the Fulbright.

  • Mallory Bernstein ’14.  Recipient. Mallory majored in Chemistry and minored in Public Health.

James Madison - The program awards fellowships for master's degree level graduate study of the framing and history of the United States Constitution.  Lynda Yankaskas, History, is the current advisor to the Madison.  Daniel Wilson, History, assisted with the mock application during the student's Junior year.

  • Evan McLaughlin ’10.  Recipient. Evan majored in History.  He won a President's Award for Outstanding Acheivement and Promise for Postgraduate in 2009.

Harry S. Truman - The Truman is a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study in preparation for a career in public service. Students are chosen because of outstanding leadership potential. Michele Moser Deegan, Political Science, is the advisor to the Truman.

  • Melanie Ferrara ’15.  Finalist.  Melanie majored in Philosophy/Political Thought and a self-designed major in Gender & Sexuality.  She was a Dana Scholar.