PSPS Outstanding Postdoc and Faculty Mentor Awards

2021 PSPS  OUTSTANDING POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR AND AN OUTSTANDING POSTDOCTORAL MENTOR AWARD CALL FOR NOMINATIONS 

Each year, the Penn State Postdoctoral Society (PSPS) honors an outstanding postdoc for their overall achievements at Penn State and an outstanding postdoc mentor for their demonstrated commitment to exceptional mentoring of postdocs at Penn State. 

Details about the nomination process, forms to nominate and criteria for awards is given here

Feel free to contact the Awards Committee (pspsawards@PennStateOffice365.onmicrosoft.com) with any questions.

 

2020 AWARD RECIPIENTS

The Penn State Postdoc Society is pleased to announce Dr. Karen C. Poh as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Postdoc Award. Dr. Poh is a postdoc in the Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural Sciences and was nominated by her postdoc advisor, Dr. Erika Machtinger. Dr. Poh’s enthusiasm, funding success, research productivity, strengths in communication and collaboration, and dedication to public service led to her selection as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Postdoc Award. In the words of her nominator, “Karen embodies the innate intelligence, personality, drive, record of production, and abilities that this award represents.”

The Penn State Postdoc Society is pleased to announce Dr. Joan Redwing as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award. Dr. Redwing is a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and holds appointments in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering. She is also the Director of the NSF Materials Innovation Platform – 2D Crystal Consortium. Dr. Redwing was nominated by Drs. Benjamin Huet, Haoyue Zhu, and Tanushree Choudhury. She is invested in mentoring postdocs through open communication, active presence in the lab, fostering and maintaining positive group dynamics, and proactive help in their professional development. In the words of her nominators she has a ‘people first approach,’ which led to her selection as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award.

2019 AWARD RECIPIENTS

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The Penn State Postdoc Society is pleased to announce Dr. Molly Hanlon as the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Postdoc Award.  Dr. Hanlon was nominated by Drs. Jonathan Lynch, Kathleen Brown, Erin Connolly, and Teh-hui Kao.  She is a postdoc in the Department of Plant Science. In the words of her nominators “Molly is a truly exceptional young scientist, conducting novel research with vigor and creativity, managing a highly complex and multidisciplinary research project, and mentoring young scientists, all while maintaining very active outreach.”​ 

 

 

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The Penn State Postdoc Society is pleased to announce Dr. Klaus Keller as the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award. Dr. Keller is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences and the Director for the Center for Climate Risk Management.   He was nominated by a current postdoc in his lab, Dr. Mahkameh Zarekarizi. Dr. Keller’s dedication to helping his postdoctoral mentees through professional development and teaching opportunities, maintaining consistent and open communication, providing constructive feedback, and providing opportunities to attend scientific meetings led to his selection as the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor. ​

 

2018 AWARD RECIPIENTS 

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The Penn State Postdoc Society is pleased to announce Dr. Glenn Sterner III as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Postdoc Award.  Dr. Sterner was nominated by Drs. Gary Zajac, Derek Kreager, Pete Forster, and Ashton Verdery.  He was a postdoc in the Justice Center for Research.  Dr. Sterner’s extensive publication record, success at procuring grants, commitment to outreach, and dedication to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students led to his selection as the 2018 Outstanding Postdoc. Dr. Sterner is now an assistant professor at Penn State Abington.

 

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The Penn State Postdoc Society is pleased to announce Dr. Christina Grozinger as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award.  Dr. Grozinger is a distinguished professor of Entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research.    She was nominated by current and former postdocs of her lab, Drs. Rong Ma, Maggie Douglas, Dave Galbraith, and Doug Sponsler.  Dr. Grozinger’s dedication to the growth of her postdoctoral mentees through providing opportunities to write grants, guest lecture, and attend scientific meetings along with her attention to their wellbeing by supporting a balanced work and family life and maintaining consistent, open communication led to her selection as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor.  In the words of her nominators, she “is a supportive and encouraging mentor, and her effective mentorship directly translates to both research productivity and subsequent careers for her postdoctoral mentees.”​

2017 AWARD RECIPIENTS

The Penn State Postdoc Society is pleased to announce Dr. F. Joseph Pollock as the 2017 Outstanding Postdoc. Dr. Pollock was nominated by his faculty mentor Dr. Monica Medina for his outstanding contribution to research, teaching and service while in the Department of Biology at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Pollock’s exceptional achievements include not only an impressive publication record and grant writing leading to international multi-laboratory projects, but also teaching and mentoring several undergraduate and graduate students and founding an international program for high school students interested in marine science.

The Penn State Postdoc Society​ is pleased to announce Dr. Suvrath Mahadevan as the 2017 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor for his exceptional dedication to the mentoring of postdoctoral scholars in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Mahadevan was nominated by multiple postdoctoral scholars for his exceptional availability and responsiveness, ability and willingness to provide recognition to his students for their work, and his commitment to providing priority to professional development opportunities and exposure to new skills and knowledge.

2016 AWARD RECIPIENTS

The Penn State Postdoctoral Society has selected Dr. Paolo Margaria, Postdoctoral Scientist in the lab of Prof. Cristina Rosa within the Department of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology, as the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Postdoc Award. Dr. Margaria is recognized as a “truly remarkable and versatile scientist”. His broad scientific experience, ranging from the field to the lab and from insect vector biology to plant virology, has resulted in the publication of 5 papers in 2016 alone. Dr. Margaria is also extremely active in community outreach, leading high school students in lab experiences through the Penn State Upward Bound Math and Science Program and winning the “2016 Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society Award” for excellence in research and service. Dr. Margaria was nominated by his faculty mentor, Dr. Cristina Rosa.

The Penn State Postdoctoral Society has selected Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Science, as the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor Award. Dr. Vijay-Kumar is recognized as a “highly productive, inspiring and outstanding mentor” who is “devoted to the success of postdoctoral fellows.” Dr. Vijay-Kumar’s work on metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) directly benefits public health and has been highly cited academically as well as in the traditional and social media. Dr. Vijay-Kumar teaches his postdocs faculty-relevant skills, including grant writing, collaboration and leadership, in order to prepare them for careers as productive, independent researchers. Prof. Vijay-Kumar was nominated by Piu Saha and Vishal Singh.

2015 AWARD RECIPIENTS

Dr. Nikki Shariat was recognized by the Penn State Postdoc Society as the 2015 Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar. Dr. Shariat was nominated by her faculty mentor, Dr. Edward Dudley, for herresearch, teaching and service accomplishments while in the Food Science Department. In addition to asuccessful publication record, Dr. Shariat’s achievements include conceptualizing and teaching aprofessional development class for undergraduates multiple semesters and contributing to the CentreCounty community through volunteer leadership and fundraising. Dr. Shariat is now a faculty member in the Biology Department at Gettysburg College where she continues to teach and conduct research on Salmonella, the leading bacterial cause of food-borne illness in the U.S.  The award was presented to her advisor Prof. Dudley.​

Professor John Tooker was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award by the Penn State Postdoc Society. This award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated her or his commitment to exceptional mentoring of postdoctoral scholars at Penn State University. Dr. Tooker was nominated by multiple postdoctoral scholars for his exceptional availability and responsiveness, ability and willingness to provide constructive feedback, and for prioritizing the professional development of his students and postdoctoral researchers.