STEM

Recipients of these prizes have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in research and in their scholarship in science, technology engineering, and mathematics.

Two Students in a Lab

Benjamin Graves Brown Scholarship honors seniors who have shown promise in scientific research. 

Jonathan Conroy is described by his computer science professors as a student that consistently goes above and beyond, performing at the level of an advanced graduate student. He conducted research with Professor Toth in computational geometry about the minimum size of hop spanners for unit disk graphs, leading to a co-authored paper in the International Symposium on Computational Geometry. Jonathan has also volunteered for JumboCode, a non-profit organization run by Tufts computer science students.

John Davis embodies the intellectual curiosity, analytical ability, resourcefulness, and drive needed for scientific research. Two professors who have supervised his research in Electrical Engineering describe him as one of the most creative, analytical, and passionate students they have encountered. Whether designing nanophotonic devices for his Senior Honors Thesis or launching a business venture developing audio hardware, John consistently displays insight, initiative, and entrepreneurship.

One of the strongest students in Chemical Engineering, Aaron Gould has demonstrated significant promise in scientific research, with a focus on data-driven modeling of complex reactions using machine learning algorithms. In this study, Aaron’s computer science background has helped him devise clever ways to reduce the computational burden to handle more complex cases. Professor Christos Georgakis is certain that these efforts will result in a paper in which Aaron will be the first author.

Joseph Harmon is a Biochemistry major, but his interest in applied science and medicine prompted him to join Professor Qiaobing Xu’s Biomedical Engineering lab to conduct research in drug delivery and gene therapy. A motivated and highly productive young researcher, Joseph has already presented and published papers on the work he has contributed to developing mRNA vaccines to prevent illness from COVID-19.

Jordan Smiley has shown tremendous capabilities in scientific research in biomedical engineering. Her specific focus has been on cell encapsulation within dynamic hydrogels for directed differentiation. She is developing novel coating materials to improve the mechanical resistance of the cells to shear stress, while preserving cell viability and programmed rates of coating resorption by the cells. Her work will result in at least two co-authored peer-reviewed publications by the time she graduates.

Jesse Yang has a tremendous commitment to scientific research. Several professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy noted Jesse’s passion for physics and remarkable success in research on advanced topics normally reserved for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Her work with Professor Goldstein on models of dark matter and decay of bosons stars was published in a refereed journal as an “Editor’s Suggestion.” This accolade is reserved for only the highest quality papers.

The de Florez Prize in Human Engineering rewards theoretical sophistication and practical application of knowledge to the problems of human engineering.  

Kelly Chin is passionate about improving the lives of others through user-centric, empathetically driven design. Her commitment extends to her service in the Tufts China Care group, Tufts Literacy Corps, and as the President of the Tufts Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Caleb Jeanniton has demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation, and drive in his work in Mechanical Engineering as a teaching assistant, researcher, and project lead on the emerging technology of self-driving cars and virtual reality driving simulation.

Daisy Wang is fascinated by Human-Machine System Interaction and has a passion for aviation that led her to conduct research in Cognitive Psychology on the cognitive challenges faced by pilots. Daisy also serves on the Tufts Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Executive Board.

The Audrey Butvay Gruss Science Award is for outstanding academic work in any of the sciences.

Claudia Barrios is a highly talented computer scientist, consistently impressing her professors by combining impeccable mathematical and technical strength with a highly creative approach to research. She has worked with Professor Lenore Cowen to research how scientists can use virtual reality platforms to collaborate. Claudia has also excelled as a Computer Science head teaching assistant, creating inclusive environments for student learning.

A Biology and Computer Science double major, Sarrah Hakimjee has combined her talents in both fields. As a Laidlaw Scholar in summer 2021, she worked on a research project on mathematical methods for clustering genes related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Sarrah has also been spearheading the development of a new Tufts student organization for undergraduates interested in biological computation.

Toki Nishikawa is an engineering student who has excelled in the most challenging courses of the Physics and Astronomy Department. In his research on high energy physics, he has integrated his advanced coding skills, state-of-the-art math techniques, and strong grasp of particle physics. In the classroom, Toki has demonstrated support for his peers as a volunteer tutor in Quantum Mechanics and by organizing study sessions for Physics 12.

Diamond Mensah is an incredibly motivated, intelligent, hard-working scientist who inspires and empowers members of her research team. She was selected as one of the two Tufts nominees for this year’s Goldwater Scholarship and will undoubtedly make an impact in the future of biomedical engineering.

The Lieutenant Commander Robert James Manning Memorial Prize Fund recognizes engineering students who show a commitment to excellence. 

Christina Uhlenbrock is at the very top of her incredibly talented senior class of Chemical Engineering majors. Christina has conducted research and is currently completing a senior honors thesis with Professor Matthew Panzer on deep eutectic solvents. Professors describe her as a highly competent, dedicated, and industrious student who always seeks to understand the course material on a deeper level.

A keen scholar, Halley McKelvie has conducted research with Professor Lenore Cowen on mathematical approaches to analyze gene expression datasets of corals under stress. When she is not performing computer science research, Halley competes with the Tufts Varsity Sailing Team. An active member of the Tufts Women in Science group, Halley is dedicated to the pursuit of science.

The Class of 1947 Victor Prather Prize is awarded to students who have demonstrated excellence in scientific research and a dedication to scholarly achievement.

Eoghan Downey has achieved excellence in leadership, athletics, and scholarly pursuits that span mathematics, computer science, classical archeology, Latin, and ancient Greece. His stellar research in physics has resulted in professional conference presentations and a forthcoming paper.

Rachel McGinn has shown incredible perseverance in contributing to breast cancer research throughout the pandemic. Through her work in the lab for the past three summers, including her Laidlaw Scholars independent research and senior thesis, Rachel will have three co-author publications.

Nominated by faculty from Biology and Community Health, Rebecca Tenner has a successful record of independent scientific research in molecular genetics and clinical medicine. She will use her many talents and commitment to social justice to ensure that all individuals in her community have access to equitable healthcare.

Matthew Zackin has tremendous promise as a researcher and longstanding commitments to tutoring future generations of students. He has been highly successful in synthetic biology research on genome-wide screens to enhance genetic code expansion, which will yield Matt first authorship on a manuscript.