Graduate Student Day, hosted by the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and Graduate College at the end of the spring term each year, celebrates the excellent contributions of graduate students towards the mission of the University especially within the classroom, lab, and community.
During the event, the Graduate College recognizes exceptionally high-performing graduate students with Graduate Student Excellence Awards across disciplines. Likewise, the GSA honors outstanding student leaders, student organizations, and faculty and professional staff mentors with awards.
This year, graduating PhD students Katie Van Aken (advisor: Yury Gogotsi) and Chang (Evelyn) Ren (advisor: Yury Gogotsi) are recipients of college-level graduate student excellence awards.
Van Aken is the inaugural winner of the 2017 College of Engineering Outstanding Promise Award, presented to graduate students who are deemed to exhibit great promise for regional, national or societal impact, and accordingly, for enhancing Drexel's reputation, now and in the future. Drexel Materials winners of previous iterations of this award include Boris Dyatkin (2016 – advisor: Yury Gogosti), Kristy Jost (2015—advisor: Yury Gogotsi), Michael Naguib (2014 – advisors: Michel Barsoum and Yury Gogotsi), Nina Lane (2013—advisor: Michel Barsoum), Murat Kurtoglu (2011—advisor: Yury Gogotsi), Stephen Niezgoda (2010—advisor: Surya Kalidindi), Jessica Schiffman (2009—advisor: Caroline Schauer), and Davide Matthia (2008), María Pía Rossi (2007), and Ranjan Dash (2006), all advised by Gogotsi.
Ren is the inaugural winner of the 2017 College of Engineering Research Excellence Award, presented to graduate students who have completed outstanding research, scholarship and/or creativity during their career at Drexel. Ren is one of a long line of Drexel Materials graduate students to receive some version of this award.
Additionally, Materials program manager Keiko Nakazawa and assistant professor Chris Weyant received Graduate Student Association Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards. Members of the GSA select award recipients based on faculty and staff involvement in grad student lives and programs throughout the year.