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Alumni Association Dissertation Award

The Alumni Association Dissertation Award provides funding and recognition to outstanding full-time doctor of philosophy students who have passed their comprehensive exams, have received approval of the dissertation topic and are within their final year of enrollment. This award is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students and recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment.

Nominations are solicited from doctoral programs at Penn State and are forwarded to a selection committee. From the pool of qualified nominations, a minimum of two awards of $5,000 are made for each of the following categories: Fine Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences - Applied and Basic; Physical and Computational Sciences - Applied and Basic; Life and Health Sciences; and Engineering. Funds for this award do not replace existing college or departmental support and are disbursed directly into the recipients' accounts.

To be eligible, students must have completed all course work and language requirements, must be registered for SUBJ 601 or nine credits and be within their final year of study.

The following form is available in Adobe PDF and accessible Microsoft Word (DOC) format. The accessible Word document is designed to be used specifically with screen reader technology. Please use the PDF version of this form unless you require the use of screen reader technology.

Alumni Association Dissertation Award (PDF) | (DOC)

For more information please contact the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration.

2015 Alumni Association Dissertation Award Winners


  • Yuchao Chen (Engineering Science and Mechanics, College of Engineering)
  • Ran Yi (Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering)

Fine Arts and Humanities

  • Ryan Pollock (Philosophy, College of the Liberal Arts)
  • Craig Rood (Communication Arts and Sciences, College of the Liberal Arts)

Life and Health Sciences

  • Ziyuan Guo (Cell and Developmental Biology, Eberly College of Science)
  • Zainul S. Hasanali (Molecular Medicine, College of Medicine)
  • Anjel Helms (Ecology, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program )
  • Penglin Sun (Plant Biology, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program)

Physical and Computational Sciences

  • Jason Britson (Materials Science and Engineering, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences)
  • Ryan Terrien (Astronomy and Astrophysics, Eberly College of Science)

Social Sciences - Applied and Basic

  • Paige Castellanos  (Rural Sociology, College of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Nathaniel Ratcliff (Psychology, College of the Liberal Arts)
  • Stephanie Wilson (Human Development and Family Studies, College of Health and Human Development)

Previous recipients:

2008-2014 Alumni Association Dissertation Award Winners

2002-2007 Alumni Association Disseration Award Winners


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