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Outstanding Students: College of Science

The faculty of the College of Science recognize the following students for outstanding academic achievement and co-curricular involvement, such as leadership, community service, and undergraduate research.



Actuarial Science

Luke Cooley
Actuarial Science Honors Applied Statistics and Minor in Management

Luke has passed four actuarial exams while earning an Honors Degree in Actuarial Science and Applied Statistics. He is a four-year member of the Actuarial Club and served as a panelist for a discussion that helped younger students learn about the different fields within actuarial science. Luke is also a member of the Circle Pines Cooperative. There he served as treasurer for four semesters. After completing three summer internships, Luke has gained knowledge of insurance sales, coding, data analysis, and actuarial modeling that will serve him well post-graduation. In July, Luke will move to Bloomington, IL to work as an actuarial analyst for State Farm. 


Biological Sciences

Alexandra Ware
Biology and Minor in Russian, History, Chemistry, English

Alexandra has conducted research with Dr. Leifu Chang studying the molecular mechanism of large protein complexes since January 2021 and is completing a thesis this spring as part of the Biology Honors Research Program. With a major in Biology and minors in Russian, English, History and Chemistry, Alexandra is active in many corners of the University. She presented a thesis at Purdue’s Research Symposium on “Dostoevsky: Religious Duty and Russia’s Transition to Socialism” as supervised by Dr. Lyanda-Geller and her paper on “Vicious Discrimination” was published in “The Cornerstone Review” of CLA. Alexandra has been an RA since 2021 and serves on the Inclusive Excellence Committee for Hillenbrand Hall. She has completed summer research internships at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and the Ashrafi Lab at Washington University and works as a Clinical Analytics Intern at Cook Medical. She is looking forward to pursuing a research career.



Jianhan (Johnson) Zhou

Jianhan has been conducting research in total organic synthesis with Dr. Minji Dai and transition metal catalyzed asymmetric cyclopropanation with Dr. Christopher Uyeda. His efforts have resulted in two papers submitted for publication, and he will be completing a Departmental Honors Thesis on his research. Jianhan has been a tutor in the Chemistry Resource Room, a Teaching Assistant for General Chemistry, and is a member of is a member of the Phi Beta Phi honors society and the Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry fraternity. He has been awarded Semester’s honors and Dean’s List for each semester he has been at Purdue.  Next year, Jianhan will continue his study of Chemistry by pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Harvard University.


Computer Science

Trung Dang
Computer Science, Minor in Psychology

Trung has been an outstanding student since his first year at Purdue. In his freshman year, faculty encourage him to take proficiency exams for half of the core CS courses, which he passed with distinction. This has enabled Trung to take many graduate level courses, which he has again excelled in. He has been an active member of Purdue’s Competitive Programming offerings. He has represented Purdue at ICPC World Finals in 2020, 2021, and 2022. At the ICPC World Finals in 2021, he achieved 20th place overall, 4th place among North American teams, and 3rd among US teams. Trung has hosted programming contests through the Codeforces platform and served as treasurer and head of development for the Purdue Competitive Programmers Union. He has been involved in research in theoretical computer science and problems in machine learning. Trung and Dr. Ninghui Li have a publication explaining their novel metric that is used to evaluate differentially private (DP) synthetic datasets and the design of their efficient algorithm to calculate this metric.  Trung is also working with two other professors in areas of algorithms. He has been a TA for many CS courses, including taking on the role of lecturer for Competitive Programming sections and being an active teaching UTA for CS 381. 


Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

John Herring
Geology & Geophysics, Planetary Science, Minor in Classical Studies

Since coming to Purdue in Fall 2019, John Herring has been on the Dean’s list and Semester Honors List every semester. As a double major in Geology and Geophysics and Planetary Science, John has worked on research projects with faculty in both fields as well as on personal research. Working with Dr. Marissa Tremblay, he has tackled problems of helium diffusion in the mineral quartz, which has applications in paleothermometry and paleoclimate studies. With Dr. Brandon Johnson and Melissa Cashion, he is researching planetary impact physics to learn why analytical and computational impact models diverge in their predictions of jet behavior. He has been a teaching assistant for EAPS 11100 for two semesters and participates in the Planetary Science Society of Purdue and the Purdue University Geological Society. John has been active in service and leadership roles at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue since the beginning of his Purdue career. He has been accepted to multiple Ph.D. programs to pursue fundamental research on Earth history and the evolution of life.



Colton Griffin 
Physics Honors and Mathematics Honors

Colton is a math major studying mathematical physics in many contexts, from scattering theory to quantum computing. He began conducting math research in his sophomore year and has continued doing so ever since. He received the Goldwater scholarship his junior year for his work with Professor Shawn Cui in topological quantum computing. He served as President of the Purdue Society of Physics Students, as a student ambassador for the Physics and Mathematics departments, and vice president of the Purdue Math Club. Next fall he will pursue a mathematics PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in mathematical physics and string theory.


Physics and Astronomy

Grace Francis
Applied Physics Honors, Minor in Medical Humanities

Grace has a major in Applied Physics Honors with a specialization in medical physics. She also has a minor in Radiological Health Sciences and a certificate in Medical Humanities. For five semesters, she has done research on the relationship between MRI markers of brain metal levels and exposure to welding fumes under Dr. Dydak. During the summer of 2022, she did research through the American Association of Physicists in Medicine after being awarded their DREAM fellowship. For this project, she conducted her own research project on the composite dose for HDR brachytherapy treatment of gynecological patients. In addition to the DREAM fellowship, she has been awarded the Purdue Presidential Scholarship, the Honors College Student Pillar Award in Interdisciplinary Academics, the David G. Seiler Physics Scholarship, the Physics and Astronomy Department Scholarship, and a Research poster award for the College of Health and Human Sciences at the Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference. Grace plans to pursue a master’s degree in medical physics at either the University of Kentucky, Duke University, or Brown University, where she hopes to perform research in radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, or positron emission tomography.



Elise Miller
Data Science - CS, Applied Statistics Minor in Mathematics and Spanish

Elise has been a member of the Data Mine since her first semester at Purdue, participating in the Data Mine seminar classes, the Statistics Cohort, and a corporate partnership with Kraft Heinz. Her final year in the Data Mine has culminated with her being a teaching assistant for a corporate partner project with the CDC PROTECT Initiative. Elise has also served as an Events and Planning Organizer for the CS organization LaunchPad since the spring of her freshman year. Elise started researching human-animal interaction at the Organization for Human-Animal Interaction and Education (OHAIRE) Lab in her sophomore year, helping with data management, wrangling and analysis. In the fall of her junior year, she was selected as the lead data-focused undergraduate research assistant at the lab and as her final year comes to a close, she has had the pleasure of mentoring students across 4 universities in various data projects. Her research has given her the opportunity to share findings with the community through peer-reviewed articles, research pitches and research posters. She has earned awards from the Office of Undergraduate Research for both the Undergraduate Research Pitch Competition and the Undergraduate Research Conference, and her research also contributed to her completion of the Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate. Elise is eager to continue her studies as a Biostatistics PhD student in the fall.



Actuarial Science Heidi Marg
Biological Sciences James Fazioli
Chemistry Abigail Soliven
Computer Science Riya Verma

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Sara Cuevas-Quinones
Mathematics (Arianna) Meenakshi McNamara
Physics and Astronomy Gabriel Goodwin
Statistics Ethan Vaughn



Actuarial Science Claire Lavoie
Biological Sciences Katherine Veth
Chemistry Ethan Lyon
Computer Science Chi-Wei Lien (Willy)

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

McKenna Eichenauer
Mathematics Xiaoyu Liu
Physics and Astronomy Marygrace Fagan
Statistics Tong En Sim


First Year

Actuarial Science Matthew Naugthon
Biological Sciences Loahni Hernandez
Chemistry Carmen Erickson
Computer Science Sarthak Mangla

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Lauren Johnson
Mathematics William Lin
Physics and Astronomy Spencer Walsh
Statistics Joy Gao


Science Ambassadors Graduating Seniors

The Science Ambassadors are a select group of undergraduates who represent the College of Science and the undergraduate science experience to prospective students and families, and other entities, including the Dean’s Leadership Council and College of Science Alumni Board.

  • Michael Bellars - Actuarial Science
  • Dylan Clarke - Statistics
  • Nathan Cleveland - Chemistry
  • Connor Craig - Actuarial Science
  • Emily Duchine - Biology
  • Colton Griffin - Physics
  • Sofia Lalani - Actuarial Science
  • Clara Mauser - Chemistry
  • Kyle Morin - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Sam Muir - Actuarial Science
  • Bailey Mullen - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Stephanie Niemiec - Computer Science
  • Carolina Popoca - Biology
  • Mack Ulrey - Biology
  • Alex West - Biology
  • Macie Wheeler - Data Science


Science Data Managers Graduating Seniors

The Science Student Data Managers are a select group of undergraduates who represent the College of Science and the College of Science Data Manager in helping support and update reports for the college and its departments.

  • Gabrielle Kraus - Applied Statistics and Media & Mass Communication
  • Ishika Kamchetty - Computer Science and Data Science
  • Evan Yang - Computer Science


Purdue Science Student Council Graduating Seniors

The Purdue Science Student Council provides academically-oriented services and promotes professional growth opportunities to students in the College of Science.

  • Mae Shu - Biology
  • Priyanka Ranga - Biology
  • Bridget Kiley - Computer Science
  • Dithi Saxena - Computer Science
  • Conor Kuntz - Biology
  • Casey Ernest - Biology


Learning Beyond the Classroom Graduating Seniors

The Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate Program is a way for students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world situations. Students learn to negotiate multiple cultures, develop confidence as professionals, view themselves in new ways, prioritize tasks, navigate the world and pursue life-long learning. The certificate is awarded when students complete activities in three categories (career and professional development, service, citizenship and leadership and experience with domestic and international diversity) and is noted on their official Purdue transcript.

  • Addy Messerly - Biology
  • Alyssa Maria Arreola - Interdisciplinary Science
  • Amy Yang - Biology
  • Cassandra Hannemann - Biology
  • Catherine Elizabeth Penquite - Computer Science
  • Chengyu Bi - Biology
  • Connor Anthony Kuntz - Biology
  • Conrad Maximillian Otterbacher - Biology
  • Delaney Margaret Winter - Biology
  • Elise Amanda Miller - Data Science, (Computer Science), Statistics
  • Emily Janette Morales Liddiard - Biology
  • Jason Alberto Zuniga - Biology
  • Karnika Soni - Computer Science
  • Katherine Rose Price - Biology
  • Kennedy A Harris - Biology
  • Madison Rose Wheeler - Biology
  • Natasha Das - Chemistry
  • Quyen Nguyen - Chemistry
  • Salaam Abla Batarseh - Biology
  • Samuel Lee Hartzler - Biology
  • Sarah Lee Eckrote - Biology
  • Sean Thomas Giltmier - Biology
  • Taylor Madison Raff - Biology
  • Tina Lin - Statistics
  • Vanessa Cardona - Biology
  • Zain Mariam Shkoukani - Biology


Bridging Cultures Award

The Bridging Cultures Award is presented to student leaders from the Global Science Partners Program – a program dedicated to helping students become interculturally competent. These students have demonstrated the ability to bridge cultural gaps between themselves and others – shifting perspectives, attuning emotions and adapting their behavior in respectful and appropriate ways.

  • Adam Munshi - Biology
  • Almina Cunanan - Actuarial Science
  • Esther Calvo Mayo - Computer Science
  • Madilyn Reid - Biological Sciences
  • Tina Lin - Statistics
  • Zoe Lackey - Computer Science


Championing Diversity Award

The Championing Diversity Award is given to students who have been active participants in the programs sponsored by the Science Diversity Office over several years of their career at Purdue. Through participation in these programs they have enriched the experience of their classmates by ensuring that all students have the opportunity to be educated in a more diverse environment. They have grown personally and professionally by taking leadership roles within the College of Science.

  • Alyssa M. Arreola - Interdisciplinary Science
  • Salaam A. Batarseh - Biology
  • Josie Bryant - Biology
  • Gillian E. Coultas - Chemistry
  • Bengisu Cuneyit - Computer Science
  • Cassandra J. Deckowitz - Computer Science
  • Keely R. Dehn - Biology
  • Riley E. Eder - Biology
  • Isabella L. Hampton - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Isha Jain - Computer Science
  • Emily E. Kolis - Biology
  • Amanda Y. Kuan - Computer Science
  • Sofia S. Lalani - Statistics
  • Tina Lin - Statistics
  • Madeline N. Mahoney - Biology
  • Sarah E. Manning - Biology
  • Kate M. McNulty - Biology
  • Addy E. Messerly - Biology
  • Christine O'Brien - Biology
  • Carolina Popoca Hernandez - Biology
  • Kavya Rachapalli - Computer Science
  • Radhika R. Rao - Statistics
  • Katie N. Reich - Biology
  • Carla D. Schwarz - Biology
  • Karnika Soni - Computer Science
  • Gayathri Sriram - Computer Science
  • Sahana L. Swaminathan - Computer Science
  • Ishika Vachali - Computer Science
  • Searre Hailemariam Abebe - Biology
  • Mariana Claudia Aguilar - Chemistry
  • Nicholas Alfonso Ballesteros - Computer Science
  • Gina Sofia Canino Quinones - Biology
  • Adam D Clay - Computer Science
  • Chyna D Davis - Biology
  • Aya Walid Elhag - Biology
  • Victor Gerardo Garcia Mosqueda - Earth, Atmopsheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Rosa M Gomez - Biology
  • Sabrina M Hinojosa - Biology
  • Sahera Kayla Marie Howard - Biology
  • Keila Aika Keikilani Jellings - Biology
  • Emily Alexandra Johnson - Mathematics
  • Anna Marie Kragness - Mathematics
  • Grant Bradley Landes - Interdisciplinary Science
  • Imani Ttchelle Lawrence - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Sydney R Moeller - Biology
  • Emily Janette Morales Liddiard - Biology
  • Sebastian Ortega - Mathematics
  • Kennedy Alexis Outlaw - Chemistry
  • Victor Miguel Pacheco - Biology
  • Micky Daniel Santiago-Zayas - Computer Science
  • Diane Claire Santos - Chemistry
  • Melody A Shimba - Physics and Astronomy
  • Kaitlyn Elizabeth Sycko - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Campbell Madison Wagner - Biology
  • Madison Elizabeth Yates - Biology
  • Katherine L Yi - Computer Science


Faculty Awards

Top Undergraduate Teacher

Each year, science undergraduate students are polled by the Science Student Council to select a faculty member whose teaching has had the greatest impact on science majors.

Professor Andrew Freed - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences


Student Success Stories

Selected by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education, these students exemplify the range of experiences and opportunities provided to undergraduate students in the College of Science. As graduating seniors, they share their stories to inspire and motivate others.

Mariana Aguilar, Planetary Science and Chemistry: Reach out to faculty and staff for the chance to gain experience. The most impactful experiences I had resulted from putting myself out there and taking that first step to contact someone I was interested in working with.

Parker Alford, Actuarial Science Honors and Statistics: As a member of the Actuarial Science Club, I met with representatives of companies, learned to network and started talking with companies interested in hiring. It was a great way to get exposed to the industry.

Amelia Binau, Physics and Learning Beyond the Classroom: In my two years as president of the Purdue Astronomy Club (PAC), I saw firsthand the positive impacts of science communication and outreach. My goal as a scientist is to bridge the gap between people and nature and to create communities where individuals of all background can grow in their shared interests.  

Oliver Bonilla, Computer Science and Learning Beyond the Classroom: Embrace the process of learning how to learn. Stay curious and open to learning new languages, tools, and frameworks. Seek feedback, learn from your mistakes, and don't be discouraged by failure. Resilience is key to long-term success.

Sarah Firestone, Data Science and Statistics: Through the corporate partner's cohort of the Data Mine learning community I got to work with 3 companies in different sectors of the industry. I was able to talk and interacted with employees of these companies and it was very meaningful to see the real-life implications of what I've been studying.

Dylan Forbes, Chemistry and Learning Beyond the Classroom: I tutored chemistry and had a student who visited me every week. We would navigate their homework assignments and prepare for upcoming tests. I witnessed their remarkable growth, and their accomplishments made me proud. This reinforced my belief in the transformative power of education and the rewarding nature of being an educator, which is my end goal.

Shruti Goyal, Computer Science Honors and Learning Beyond the Classroom: In four years at Purdue, I've learned a new language, built robots, tinkered with circuits, delved into the philosophical analysis of time, and even fulfilled my lifelong dream of playing quidditch! It's the perfect place to explore, learn, and grow in ways you never imagined.

Ethan Guardado, Biological Sciences, Philosophy and Learning Beyond the Classroom: You earned your acceptance to Purdue, but that does not necessitate self-destruction attempting to be the best student ever. You should try to excel in classes but remember that you also deserve things like attending Purdue games, taking weekend trips, and having calm, worry-free weekday evenings, and if having those things means saying "No" to other opportunities, then say "No!"

Mahesh Gupta, Biological Sciences & Learning Beyond the Classroom: I have grown in ways that I never would have imagined four years ago; I have become more outgoing, capable, and confident. I have received foundational skills at Purdue that I am excited to build upon in my next steps after graduation.

Danielle Harr, Atmospheric Science and Learning Beyond the Classroom: I presented a poster at the American Meteorlogical Society (AMS) National Student Conference and networked with other students, professors, and professionals. I spoke with potential graduate research advisors in person and showcased my research. This was vital scientific presentation experience that I would not have gotten inside a classroom.

Ethan Loev, Computer Science: Being a teaching assistant allowed me to help others learn and grow, while also improving my own skills and knowledge. I enjoyed interacting with students from diverse backgrounds and levels of expertise and seeing them overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

Rianna Parla, Computer Science: I want to apply my studies in machine learning to research in astrophysics. I am particularly interested in creating simulations of galaxies to further the study of dark matter. These models will hopefully be used to observe the behavior of dark matter and how it interacts with galaxies.

Melanie Ruesch, Mathematics and Statistics: My studies at Purdue were far from effortless, but the difficulty of my degree makes the reward so much sweeter. I know that with challenge comes change. At Purdue, I had the chance to prove to myself that I am capable of great things.

Gracie Sanders, Biological Sciences and Learning Beyond the Classroom: There is so much more to this world than just the science they teach you in classrooms. Get outside and find yourself. Even if making friends or joining a club is hard for you, go out alone. Learning independence and how to find joy in solitude will make you a stronger person.

Abi Soliven, Chemistry: I am an ambassador for the honors college and lead tours for new and prospective students/families. I strive to help prospective students discover what they are looking for next. I am proud to give back to the community that shaped me.

Libby Sorenson, Biological Sciences and Learning Beyond the Classroom: When I traveled to Morocco, listening to the lived experiences of people there gave me a greater understanding of their culture and traditions. The complexities of society and customs were made apparent, which helped me to look beyond my assumptions and appreciate how the different factors of society come together.

Aria Sturmer, Statistics and Psychology: Coming to Purdue, I had no clue what I wanted to do. But by involving myself in research early, joining a variety of clubs, and attending office hours before I needed help, I was unknowingly setting myself up for success. You never know where your opportunities can take you, so immerse yourself in the Purdue experience, and you'll reap the benefits later.

Andrew Walke, Biological Sciences & Learning Beyond the Classroom: As a member of the World's Largest Drum Crew, I traveled to Ireland to perform in the Dublin St. Patrick's Day parade. To me, the drum represents everyting great about Purdue University: our spirit of adaptability, resilience, and innovation.


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