Graduate Student Leadership Awards

The University provides two awards to graduating graduate and professional student leaders: The President's & Provost's Honor for Developing New Initiatives in Graduate & Professional Student Life and the Dr. Andy Binns Award for Outstanding Service to Graduate and Professional Student Life.

These awards are only given to students upon their graduation from Penn. The awards ceremony is typically held in May each year for both Spring and December graduates. Please read more about the awards and how to nominate students below.

President's & Provost's Honor for Developing New Initiatives in Graduate & Professional Student Life 
Presented to graduate or professional students, upon their graduation from Penn, who have been a catalyst for transformative and lasting new developments that have enhanced graduate and professional student life at Penn. The award is reserved for those who have created something new and institutionalized it.

Dr. Andy Binns Impact Award for Outstanding Service to Graduate and Professional Student Life 
Presented to graduate or professional students, upon their graduation from Penn, who have significantly impacted or extensively contributed to graduate and professional student life at Penn through outstanding service involvement in student life programs, initiatives, or organizations. The award is not just for longstanding leaders; it is reserved for those who made significant positive contributions or improvements to the operations and functions of these programs, initiatives, or organizations to the benefit of graduate and professional student life. 

These awards are designed to recognize contributions specifically to graduate and professional student life across campus, not improvements primarily made to academic life. Schools and departments are the appropriate sources to acknowledge academic achievements and improvements.

How to Nominate

To nominate a graduating student for either award, please fill out this form (link is only active when nominations are being accepted).
Nominations can be made at any time, but please adhere to these deadlines:

  • Nominations for the previous December, or upcoming May and August graduates must be received by March 1.
     
  • Nominations for upcoming December graduates must be received by October 1.

Nomination Guidelines:

  • One well-written nomination is more than sufficient. This is not a popularity contest, so multiple nominations are not necessary.
     
  • Nominations are accepted from students, faculty and staff. Self-nominations are accepted.
     
  • When nominating a student for co-establishing an initiative, you must nominate all of the students involved, even if some are not graduating in this year. The selection committee will not consider nominations for some but not all of the students involved in founding an initiative.

A committee will review self-nominations and nominations made by others to evaluate the fit between the graduate and professional students' service and the mission of the awards. There is no limit to the number of students who can receive these awards; however these are prestigious awards and winners are carefully selected.

We congratulate all of our past award winners.

Recognizes graduating students who have been a catalyst for transformative and lasting new developments that have enhanced graduate and professional student life at Penn. The award is reserved for those who have created something new and institutionalized it.

Year Recipients
2019 Leslie Jones, PhD
2018

Anthony Pratcher, Ph.D.

Brenda Salantes, Ph.D.

2017

Ufuoma Cleopatra Abiola, Ed.D.

Robert Ashford, MSW

2016

Alixandra Barash, Ph.D.

Teni Ugbah 

Kelsey Van Gelder, Ph.D.

2015

Vicky Vi Thuy Doan-Nguyen, Ph.D. 

Cheyenne Alexis Anthony

2014

Steven Mong, MBA 

Emily Joy Rothchild, PhD  

Luyao Wang, MSE  

Nina Zhao, M.D.

2013

Evan Black, MSE  

Colleen Daley, MSE

Susan Mello, PhD  

Maria Murray, PhD  

Scott Ordway, PhD 

Akeesha Washington, MSE  

James W. Wiley, III, Esq

2012

Allyson Davis, MPA  

Joseph Friedman, Esq  

Linda Meiberg, PhD  

Maher Zamel, EdD

2011

Michael Baiocchi, PhD  

Cassondra Giombetti, PhD 

Christa Heyward, PhD  

Mahlet N. Mesfin, PhD

2010

Andrew Rennekamp, PhD

Arie Barendrecht, MBA 

Jack Higgins, MGA  

Leslie Anne Warden, PhD  

Renzo Weber, MBA  

Rani Yadav, MBA

2009

Brian Coleman, PhD  

Jessica Kim, EdD  

Heather Klusaritz, PhD  

Nikki Thorpe, MCP

2008

Mete Civelek, PhD  

Noah D. Drezner, PhD  

Wenny Lin, PhD 

Lee Shaker, PhD  

Kara Yokley, MBA

2007

Cay Bradley, PhD  

Scott Brodsky, MGA  

Lela Jacobsohn, PhD  

Kevin Jude, PhD  

Joung Lee, MGA

2006 Kyle Farley, PhD

2019

Dasha Donado (DMD, Dental Medicine)
Raymond Gonzales (MPH, BGS)
Daniel Perez (MPA, LPS)
Benjamin Truong (DMD, Dental Medicine)

2018 

Akudo Ejelonu, SAS LPS / Medicine 
Rosario Jaime-Lara, Nursing 
Ruiyuan Ma, SEAS 
Miles Owen, Design / LPS Fels 

2017

Victoria Aguilar for service with LAGAPSA.
Nathan Castillo for service with LAGAPSA.
Will Schmenner for service with SASgov.
Justine Sefcik for service with GAPSA.
Prashant Subbarao for service with SASgov.
Yunning Wang for service with Chinese Students & Scholars at Penn

2016 

Miriam Archibong for service with GAPSA and the Journal of Law & Public Affairs.
Benjamin Ediger for service with GAPSA.
Katherine France for service with GAPSA.
Stephen Iacovo for service withService Member & Veterans’ Legal Assistance Project.
Aurora MacRae-Crerar for service with the CAPS Student Advisory Board. 
Samantha Miller for service with GAPSA and LEARN.
Paul Welfer for service with GAPSA and SASgov.
Andy Wu for service with GAPSA and PAAGSA.

2015 

Suzanne Bratt for service with GAPSA and with SASgov. 
Rachel Delgado for service with GAPSA.
Desmond Diggs for service with BGAPSA.
Katherine Gibson for service with Advancing Women in Engineering.  
Priya Hattay for service with GAPSA. 
Steven Lin for service with GAPSA. 
Vinayak Mathur for service with SASgov and GAPSA.
Sibel Ozcelik for service with Penn Social Impact Leaders, Stylus, and the Penn Neuroscience Society.