Recipients of these prizes have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in research and in their scholarship in science, technology engineering, and mathematics.
Benjamin Graves Brown Scholarship honors seniors who have shown promise in scientific research.
Victor Ioan Arsenescu (A22) is a Biomedical Sciences and Computer Science major pursuing research in Computational Biology. Independent and highly creative, he has contributed impressive processes to further research in his field. At a major scientific conference, Victor will be presenting a poster on MUNDO, a new technique he conceived and developed to better infer protein function transferring information.
Alyssa Blaise (A21), a Biopsychology major and Latin minor, has been conducting research toward her senior thesis on understanding how cells become resistant to insulin signaling. Alyssa has been studying this question at the Whitehead Institute, and she has already developed a method to model insulin resistance using liver cells in vitro. Alyssa has demonstrated impressive scientific thinking and a passion for experimentation.
Anirban Chakraborty (A21) combined his interests in applied science and medicine by majoring in biology and working in a biomedical engineering lab. An exceptional all-around student, Anirban is also a highly productive young researcher who has been involved in developing synthetic non-viral based nanoparticles for delivery of gene editing components. Anirban’s contributions have brought several independent projects to life, including two co-authored papers.
Jenna Fromer (E21) is a Chemical Engineering major investigating data-driven modeling to understand pharmaceutical reactions. Jenna is a brilliant and thoughtful researcher who asks insightful questions, quickly understands new concepts, and is undeterred by challenging problems. Professor Christos Georgakis feels fortunate to have “had the chance to initiate her smart and innovative mind into doing creative and high impact research.”
Yiwen Jiang (E21) is a natural researcher with a demonstrable talent for formulating meaningful problems, developing novel solutions, and communicating them effectively. She has been working to develop a flexible, cost-effective, and accurate head motion monitoring system using a stretchable, thread-based sensor. Her design achieves over 93% accuracy in this task. Yiwen’s work been published in a scientific paper (of which she is the first author) and has drawn considerable attention in the popular press.
Erin Soule-Albridge (E21) is a Biomedical Engineering major and outstanding student researching how to develop mammalian cell culture systems for rapidly growing dense tissues using 3D printing with biopolymer inks. Her senior project is on 3D printed meat, and she has co-authored a peer reviewed scientific publication. Erin also works as a Tufts lifeguard and has served as a Covid-19 Education Team Member to improve student safety on campus during the pandemic.
The de Florez Prize in Human Engineering rewards theoretical sophistication and practical application of knowledge to the problems of human engineering.
Aidan Lewis (E21) is a remarkable scientist and an extraordinary researcher. During his time at Tufts, Aidan has consistently performed theoretically sophisticated research, investigating cardiac electrophysiology, neural networking, and brain modeling. In addition to the extensive exploration of these complex bio-engineering issues, Aidan is a kind and friendly person who is deeply respected by everyone as a friend and mentor.
Krista Taylor (A21) is an excellent student with a fundamental passion for using psychological understanding to improve the ways that humans interact with their increasingly technological and mechanical environments. As an engineering psychology student, Krista has written about the future of self-driving cars, served as the Vice President of the Tufts Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and worked as a Transportation Human Factors Intern.
Muhammad Umair (E21) is a passionate and gifted computer science student who uses his theoretical knowledge and understanding to successfully tackle and solve challenging and urgent problems. During his time at Tufts, Umair developed the modular software system Gailbot, which is now being used by interaction researchers all over the globe. Umair is an outstanding citizen who has performed indispensable work in developing digital infrastructure to support remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Audrey Butvay Gruss Science Award is for outstanding academic work in any of the sciences.
Anju Ishizaki (A22) has achieved exceptional academic success in applied physics. Forced to study remotely from Japan last fall, she impressed her professors with her astounding intellect, superb organizational skills, and remarkable level of discipline. Her first-year courses were emblematic of a student exploring what a liberal arts university has to offer, with Anju’s inquisitive and explorative nature pushing her to eventually pursue her passion for physics and undertake a second major in computer science.
Meghan Mulvey (A21) has impressed her professors throughout her undergraduate career with her natural brilliance and the enthusiasm and intellectual contribution she brings to classroom discussions. Persistent, tenacious, and curious, Meghan distinguishes herself as an extraordinary student in her Biochemistry major, in the research laboratory, as well as in her chemistry tutoring sessions. She looks forward to working with people as a medical student and as a physician to help them take control of their own health.
Olivia Steiner (A21) is an enthusiastic and very competent scientist whose knowledge and talent is reflected in the biochemical research she has conducted at Tufts. Her professors are impressed with Olivia’s diligence in her work, both at the laboratory-bench and in the classroom. The positive attitude she brings to her interactions extends beyond her work and encourages her peers as well. She will pursue a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences and will continue contributing to scientific research.
Meredith Sherman (A21) tackles her majors in Chemistry and Political Science and her minor in Art History with full dedication to these diverse disciplines. While her professors in political science rave about her contributions to the fields of political philosophy and political literature, her science professors are taken by her work in pediatric heart disorders. This award describes only one domain of Meredith’s diverse interests and is a symbol of her many accomplishments.
Samantha Livermore (A21) stands out for her academic excellence and her enthusiasm and passion for science. She has excelled in her research with Professor Roger Tobin on experimental surface science. She leveraged her experience in Tufts’ research labs to secure a SULI internship with the SLAC National Laboratory in Stanford, and used that experience to launch her Senior Honors Thesis. Sam has also been a valuable contributor to the Physics Department teaching endeavor, serving as a teaching assistant for introductory laboratories–a responsibility typically filled by graduate students.
The Lieutenant Commander Robert James Manning Memorial Prize Fund recognizes engineering students who show a commitment to excellence.
Emma Downey (E22) has been described as a force of nature: “bold, smart, motivated and creative.” As a major in Biomedical Engineering, she developed a passion for research, studying optical imaging techniques for visualizing 3D neuron cultures. She was also one of the first participants in the department’s co-op program. Eager to help others, she is outreach coordinator for the Tufts Leonard Carmichael Society for Tutoring, spokesperson Sunrise Tufts, and a mentor with Girls in STEM.
James Cameron (E21) is computer science major with a passion for cyber security and civics. Professor Ming Chow describes how James’ enthusiasm “lit up the entire class in both classroom and online discussions.” James is an energetic and engaging teacher. He taught an Ex-College class, served as a Teaching Fellow, and completed a project teaching cyber security to high school students. James has also kept our campus safe as a Security Engineer at Tufts Technology Services.
Matthew Stout (E21) demonstrates broad enthusiasm for learning and consistent commitment to excellence. A double major in chemical engineering and economics, Matthew excels in a range of disciplines and has a passion for research. He has been resilient and undaunted in studying new methods to expand the genetic code in yeast. Thanks to Matt’s persistence in the lab, he has produced promising findings that his team is excited to build upon and implement.
The Class of 1947 Victor Prather Prize is awarded to students who have demonstrated excellence in scientific research and a dedication to scholarly achievement.
Jordan Bricknell (A21) is a Biochemistry major who embodies the characteristics of a true scientist: innate passion and curiosity coupled to a humble and mature personality. She has delved into a research project on low-cost, diagnostic devices for underserved healthcare settings. Combining her knowledge beautifully with her research experience, she contributed to making hundreds of prototype devices. Generous and compassionate, Jordan creates a collaborative work environment around her.
Jacob Sunnerberg (A21) is a physics major whose passion for research led him to elucidate mechanical properties of neurons, dynamics of neural network formation, and physics of nanoparticles. He has authored or co-authored publications in two major journals in his field. He was awarded a research fellowship from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and worked at Dana Farber Cancer Institute on a technique to improve PET/CT scan time and quality. Beyond the lab, he is active in Tufts Gospel Choir and as a volunteer.
Katya Thorup (E21) is an electrical engineering major and computer science minor whose talents as a researcher were revealed through her contributions to a team engaged in a large-scale study of quantifying, predicting, and understanding soldier performance under stressful conditions. She helped develop a sophisticated software tool and web application that was demonstrated throughout the U.S. Armed Forces. Professor Eric Miller described her efforts in image analysis as “on par with that of some of my best PhD students.”
Gian Marco Visani (A21) is a creative problem solver with research interests at the intersection of machine learning and systems biology. As a Laidlaw Fellow, he spent two summers designing computational techniques to predict enzymatic activity on target molecules. He presented his work at several conferences and recently published in a top journal in his field. During the COVID pandemic, he has applied his skills to model demand for hospital resources. He is preparing to publish several additional papers and will join a top graduate program in computer science.