Departmental Diploma Ceremony Held May 16, 2009-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Departmental Diploma Ceremony Held May 16, 2009

On Saturday, May 16th, six doctoral, eight masters and 86 bachelors degrees were conferred at the Department of Biological Sciences diploma ceremony held in the Mellon Institute Auditorium. Drs. John Woolford and Amy Burkert presided over the ceremony, which honored all December 2008, May 2008 and August 2008 graduates.

Of the 86 graduating seniors, there was great diversity in the degrees conferred, including:

  • 59 B.S. in Biological Sciences,
  • 18 B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology, 
  • three B.A. in Biological Sciences, 
  • two B.S. in Computational Biology, 
  • one B.S. in Biological Sciences/Neuroscience,
  • one B.S.A. in Biological Sciences and Industrial Design,
  • one B.S.A. in Biological Sciences and Architecture, 
  • and one B.S.A. in Environmental Biology and French and Francophone Studies degrees.

There were also 12 Science and Humanities Scholars. The interdisciplinary nature of Carnegie Mellon was also highlighted in the additional majors and minors of the students. Chemistry, Business Administration, Technical Writing, Biomedical Engineering, Hispanic Studies, Computer Science and Healthcare Policy and Management were just a few of the additional majors and minors.

“Outstanding Academic Achievement,” “Outstanding Undergraduate Research” and “Student Advisory Council Service Awards” certificates were awarded to 45 undergraduate students. Danielle F. Eytan, Charlotte Kathleen Jennings, Samuel M. Kim, Jonah D. Klein, Shelly A. Kucherer, Lawrence Lin, Rebecca Lynn Martz, Gregory Arthur Newby, Rohit Ramnath, Jonathan Ryan Sitrin and Leon Zheng were recognized for honors in research biology.

Heather Chalfin and Gregory Newby were chosen as this years’ Andrew Carnegie Society Scholars. Furthermore, Kathleen McCann received the first Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

Future plans for the graduates are just as varied as their bachelors’ degrees. Numerous students are entering medical school or research positions at places such as John Hopkins, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Allegheny General Hospital, Harvard, and Caltech. Moreover, many of the students are pursuing graduate degrees at institutions such as Yale University, Boston University, Drexel Univesity, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Southern California, within fields such as bioinformatics, nursing, immunology, genetics, and neurobiology. Some students have accepted positions in industry at Merck, Bayer, and Deloitte Consulting. One student, Gregory Newby, will travel to the University of Zurich on a Fulbright Scholarship, then attend graduate school at MIT. Additionally, a group of students will remain at Carnegie Mellon to pursue a Masters degree in Healthcare Policy and Management or Biotechnology and Management at the Heinz School/Tepper School of Business.

The doctoral graduates also have varying future plans. Krishnan Padmanabhan, Ph.D., will begin a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Nathan Urban at Carnegie Mellon, where he will work a model of olfaction for use in the development of a biological odor detector, as known as an artificial nose. Rebecca Webb, Ph.D., will continue to work within Dr. Brooke McCartney’s laboratory as she pursues a teaching professorship.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!