Biology Undergraduate Awardees
2020 Department of Biology Award given in honor of Darrell Stokes
Congratulations to Arthur Menezes for being selected as this year's winner! This award recognizes significant contributions to the Department of Biology and the broader Emory Community. Arthur contributed substantially to our research mission through work with Dr. Nic Vega through the SURE program and an honors thesis with Dr. Levi Morran.
Arthur also coauthored a paper in Biology Letters with Dr. Morran and other lab members. Arthur also made impressive commitments to the teaching and inclusion missions of our department and the Emory community. He served as a TA for Introductory Biology with Dr. Kate O’Toole and was inducted into the Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society. Arthur’s pride in Emory is evident from his leadership on the Student Programming Council, service as Homecoming Chair, and work to “Bring Swoop to Life.” Most impressively, Arthur served as an advocate for underrepresented, first-generation, and undocumented students in a variety of roles across campus.
Arthur’s recommender remarked that, “Arthur is smart, inquisitive, dedicated, creative, and a strong leader.” We agree!
2020 Biology Undergraduate Research Award in honor of Pat Marsteller
This Award recognizes outstanding undergraduate research. Congratulation to Jessie Jiang who contributed substantially to the research mission of Randy Hall’s lab where she worked on understanding the connection between neurodegenerative disorders and the brain-expressed receptors, GPR37 and GPR12.
The committee was impressed by the importance and impact of Jessie’s research findings. Her work has been validated in several different ways by external reviewers. This includes data generated by Jessie being the centerpiece for securing a R21 award from the NIH to fund further work on GPR12. Jessie also presented this work as part of her Honors Thesis Defense, and was awarded highest honors. She will be lead author on a publication of this work in 2021.
After 20 years of mentoring undergraduates, Jessie’s mentor described her as the very best in terms of overall intellectual ability and academic potential. She has been hailed for being incredibly inquisitive by nature, deeply rigorous in the design and performance of her experiments, and possessing enthusiasm that is absolutely off the charts.
We believe that Jessie exemplifies the scientific curiosity, drive and passion for mentoring that Pat has exhibited throughout her storied career.