Fall 2021 Awards Recipients.

Great Minds in Research Award.

Research Disciplines Poster

The Great Minds in Research award is presented collaboratively by the Graduate School and the Office of Vice President for Research. This award recognizes graduate student submissions that contribute to the excellence and advancement of research, scholarship, and entrepreneurial efforts at CSU. We celebrate these rising stars, and honor these graduate students for the commitment and efforts in their field.

Scholarship Awards.

1st place:
$250 award
  • Rachelle Rehberg - Chemistry
2nd place:
$150 award
  • Roxanna Martinez - Chemistry
Honorable mention:
Ten $100 awards
  • Amelia Warden - Psychology
  • Fionna Samuels - Chemistry
  • Jon Thai - Chemistry
  • Krystyna Kolodziej - Health and Exercise Science
  • Lauren Vilen - School of Education
  • Lexi Keene - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Maureen Walsh - Health and Exercise Science
  • Rachel Maison - Biomedical Sciences
  • Sam Ogden - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Zohaib Ali - Cell and Molecular Biology

Business for a Better World Award.

College of Business logo

The College of Business is invested in projects that offer sustainable solutions to substantive problems affecting a population. Through this Business for a Better World Award, the College is pleased to highlight outstanding scholarship from business graduate students.


1st place:
$500 award
  • Trevor Innes - Business

Drivers of Innovation: The CSU Ventures Awards.

CSU Ventures

The Drivers of Innovation awards highlight the leading edge of the most innovative research originating from CSU research. Awardees in this category have presented innovative research capable of solving commercial needs that benefit society. Additionally, the awardees have demonstrated a solid capability to communicate their science clearly as well as a superior ability to visually represent their research in a manner that is accessible to all audiences.


Two $500 awards
  • Bailee Lawrence - Business
  • Melissa Schenkel - Chemistry
Two $250 awards
  • Hillary Nguyen - Chemistry
  • Iman Naseri - Mechanical Engineering

Global Impact Award.

Office of International Programs

The Office of International Programs is pleased to recognize students with the Global Impact Award.

Global Research Award.

The Office of International Programs seeks to honor three graduate students that demonstrate an active commitment to making a Global Impact through research. Examples might include field research that was conducted at an international location, research that was accomplished by partnering with an international organization or institution, or research that has the capacity to address a significant global challenge.


Top Scholar:
Three $400 awards
  • Melody Zarria-Samanamud - Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
  • Samuel Smith - Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
  • Zabi Khan - Clinical Sciences

Graduate Student Council: New Graduate Student Award.

Graduate Student Council

In line with the Graduate Student Council’s (GSC) overall commitment to bring graduate students together for the purposes of networking, collaboration, and advocacy the GSC is proud to sponsor the Graduate Student Showcase. Our organization has always had a strong focus on welcoming new graduate students to CSU and empowering them to succeed. Offering the New Graduate Student Award in partnership with the Graduate School, is yet another way we can help these emerging scholars reach their full potential.

The New Graduate Student Award is available to all graduate students in the first three semesters of their graduate work (anyone who started Summer/Fall 2020 or later), and four students will be selected, with each winning a $250 prize. In line with the mission of GSC, special consideration will be offered to projects focused on informing policy that may benefit graduate students and further the goals of GSC.

The New Graduate Student Award will be judged by the GSC leadership team and our administrative advisors.

Scholarship Awards.

Research Top Scholar:
Four $250 awards
  • Becca Schulte - Colorado School of Public Health
  • Brandon Simony - Biology
  • Kyle Pfeiffer - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Yaman Peksenar - Chemistry

CSU Writes: Written Excellence Award

Newly created in 2021, the CSU Writes scholarship recognizes an outstanding title that reflects characteristics of excellent writing in its clarity, concision, structural alignment, and overall impression.

Scholarship Award.

Written Excellence:
$500 award
  • Paige Ostwald - Cell and Molecular Biology

Undergraduate Choice Award.

Undergraduate Choice

The Graduate School is proud to partner with the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry to sponsor the Undergraduate Choice Awards through which each category of the Graduate Student Showcase will be judged by a team of undergraduate scholars. This category is designed to expose undergraduates to graduate level scholarship, facilitate the training of undergraduates in the critical analysis of scholarly products, and to reward graduate students whose work is perceived to be among the highest quality by the undergraduate team of judges.

Scholarship Awards.

Research Top Scholar:
Four $125 awards
  • Jemma Fadum - Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
  • Jordan Acosta - Health and Exercise Science
  • Valerie Lindstrom - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Wyatt Beyers - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

College Specific Awards.

Top Scholars for University-Wide Graduate Programs

Graduate School logo

Presented and offered by the Graduate School and CSU Libraries.

Scholarship Awards.

1st Place:
$500 award
  • Rebecca Cheek - Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
2nd Place:
$300 award
  • Casey-Tyler Berezin - Cell and Molecular Biology
3rd Place:
$250 award
  • Darcy Hunstiger - Cell and Molecular Biology

College of Agricultural Sciences Top Scholars Awards.

College of Agriculture logo

The College of Agricultural Sciences is proud to present the Top Scholar award.


Top Scholar:
Three $500 awards
  • Derek Newberger - Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • Hugo Pantigoso Guevara - Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • Jacqueline Buenrostro - Agricultural Biology

College of Business Dean’s Award for Research Excellence.

College of Business logo

For the College of Business graduate student that provides a creative research solution to a substantive business problem. Through this award, the College of Business is pleased to honor a business graduate student for outstanding research.


Top Scholar:
$500 award
  • Tess Lapray - Business

WSCOE Excellence in Research Award.

College of Engineering logo

The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering is proud to present the Excellence in Research Award.

Scholarship Awards.

Top Scholar:
Three $250 awards
  • Abdo Elsayed Soliman - Mechanical Engineering
  • Austin Banks - Mechanical Engineering
  • Tracey Wick - Biomedical Engineering

College of Health and Human Sciences Awards.

College of Health and Human Sciences logo

The College of Health and Human Sciences is pleased to provide five awards.

Scholarship Awards.

Excellence in Research and Scholarship:
Four $250 awards
  • Shivani Kaushik - School of Social Work
  • Sophie Seward - Health and Exercise Science
  • Sylvia Lee - Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Wenceslao Martinez - Health and Exercise Science
Excellence in Creativity:
One $250 award
  • Colette Sterling - School of Education

College of Liberal Arts Awards.

College of Liberal Arts logo

Awards to Graduate Students in Liberal Arts Disciplines/Departments for highest achievements in:

Creative and Performing Arts, including visual arts, music (solo and ensemble), theatre, dance, poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction:

Scholarship Awards.

Top Scholar:
One $500 awards
  • Sumanma Wadhwa - Art and Art History

Scholarly/Research-based poster presentations:

Scholarship Awards.

Top Scholar:
Four $500 awards
  • Maddy Cort - School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
  • Kimi Conro - Journalism and Media Communication
  • Shaun Rose - History
  • Zel Gabriel - English

College of Natural Sciences Outstanding Scholar Award:

College of Natural Sciences logo

The College of Natural Sciences Outstanding Scholar Award honors the scholarship of graduate students who exemplify the college’s commitment to cutting-edge research.

Scholarship Awards.

Outstanding Scholar:
Four awards of $500 each
  • Christopher Gale - Chemistry
  • Guilian Luchini - Chemistry
  • Jewels Fallon - Chemistry
  • Susan Mitchell - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Awards.

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences logo

CVMBS Top Scholar Awards

CVMBS values discovery and celebrates development of the skill set to advance knowledge with original research. Our mission is to help animals, people and the planet through restorative and preventive strategies for the health of these systems – a One Health perspective. This award recognizes promise in a research student in developing the skills to advance knowledge.

Scholarship Awards.

Top Scholar:
Three $500 awards
  • Darby Gilfillan - Microbiology
  • Natalie Vance - Microbiology
  • Nikolas Bergum - Biomedical Sciences

Warner College of Natural Resources Award for Graduate Student Achievement.

Warner College of Natural Resources logo

Warner College of Natural Resources Award for Graduate Student Achievement: This award recognizes excellence in graduate student achievement and excellence in scholarship and research that sets the foundation for outstanding career-long contributions to the natural resources field.

Scholarship Awards.

Warner College Graduate Student Achievement Award
Three $500 awards
  • Connor McCarty - Ecosystem Sustainability
  • Juli Scamardo - Geosciences
  • Yuting Deng - Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology