2018-19: A Year of Outstanding Research and Scholarship

2018-19: A Year of Outstanding Research and Scholarship

Buresch and Silver during poster sessionSeniors Samantha Buresch and Jamilah Silver celebrate their honors thesis presentations.

Northwestern University recognized exceptional graduating students Thursday, June 20 at Cahn Auditorium as part of Commencement week ceremonies.

Below, we've rounded up all the winners from the School of Education and Social Policy community during 2918-19, including undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni. Please email Julie Deardorff, director of communications, with updates. 

For more information on fellowships, visit Northwestern's Office of Fellowships. Information on research grant funding can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Research. 

SESP honors recipients -- seniors who successfully complete SESP’s honors thesis program – include Miriam Barnicle, Eliza Beth, Samantha Buresch, Ruth Charendoff, Cecilia Clarke, Isaac Doppenberg, Alana Farkas, Bianca McKenna, Emma Meyerhoff, Samantha Oberman, Talia Prusky, Sara Saltzer, Jamilah Silver, Hannah Whitehouse, Laura Zajac and Carlyn Zuckert.

Five SESP students -- a new School record -- were finalists for Fulbright (IIE) US Student Awards which support a year of study or research, or projects in the creative or performing arts, or teaching in more than 155 countries worldwide. Read more about our newest Fulbright finalists, Cesar Almeida, Catherine Ettinger, Ellen Furgis, Meredith Falk, and Caroline Gholson.

Tasia Conway, Phoebe Glowacki, and Helen Gutierrez received the Northwestern University Public Interest Program (NUPIP) Fellowship, a one-year program that helps train a new generation of leaders for social change through paid public-interest work, professional development seminars, and mentorship opportunities with Northwestern alumni.

Ankita Ajith, Eliza Beth, Christine Hwang, Sara Saltzer, and Carlyn Zuckert were honored for their work at the Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition.

Christian A. Reyes, Jesi Rojo, and Suzannah Kingsbury received a Wildcat Impact award for their innovative work with Compass Mentors, a group that provides supports for first-year students to learn how to successfully navigate the Northwestern experience. Reyes was the student speaker for the 2019 Honors Ceremony. He plans to take a gap year before returning to graduate school to continue his studies in psychology.

Khaqan Ahmad, Jack Benjamin, Emily Coffee, Daniela Garcia, Christina Gutierrez, Ronni Hayden, Faith Irvine, Isabelle Laskero, Katherine Mann, David McCuskey, Natalie Olson, Jordyn Ricard, Sophie Rodosky, Hope Salvador, Olivia Verbeke, and Jared Zvonar received summer undergraduate research grants.

Cecelia Clarke and Isabel Hoffman were named to the Mortar Board National Honor Society, which recognizes college seniors for superior achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service.

Adam Davies, Northwestern’s first transgender executive vice president of Associated Student Government, received the PPIA Junior Summer Institute award, which trains people who can bring diverse perspectives to policy work. Davies, a transgender activist both on and off campus, was a key force in creating and directing Northwestern’s GQNBT task force which drafted changes to university policies for transgender students.

Michael Deneroff received the James H. Dunn Jr. Memorial Fellowship, which gives recent college graduates from every state the opportunity to experience and gain firsthand knowledge of Illinois state government and general governmental structure at the executive level.

Isabel Dobbel, the new Associated Student Government (ASG) president, won the Wildcat Impact award for Integrity for building a more sustainable and equitable funding process. Next year, three of the four executive office positions in ASG will be held by School of Education and Social Policy students. In addition to Dobbel, Adam Davies is executive vice president and Soteria Reid is the executive officer of justice and inclusion.

Ellen Furgis emceed the honors ceremony.

David Guirgis, an aspiring change-maker and civic leader, received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship which funds US undergraduates for study abroad. 

Isabelle Laskero received an undergraduate language grant to take intensive French immersion classes for six weeks in Montpellier, France.

Christina Parker attended the selected 11th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University, a three-day summit designed to engage the next generation of leaders from college campuses around the world. 
Lucas Philips, founder and chief growth officer of the coffee company BrewBike, received the Alumni Leadership Award, which recognizes a graduating senior and graduate student for outstanding leadership and character.

Jamilah Silver, who studied human development and psychological services, received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship which funds three years of graduate study in STEM fields at any US university. Silver also won the Sigma Xi2019 Expo Best Overal Presentation Award.

Cheri Zhang was awarded the Clark and Hinman fellowship, which helps sophomores finance travel, housing, and living during summer internships.

Jared Zvonar was one of fourteen Northwestern undergraduates awarded a Leopold Fellowship in historical studies.

Graduate Students

  • Allena Berry and Julissa Muñiz have been named to the Social Science Research Council’s Dissertation Proposal Development Program, an interdisciplinary training program that helps graduate students in the humanities and social sciences formulate dissertation research proposals by exposing them to the theories, literature, methods, and intellectual traditions of disciplines outside their own.
  • Andrea Kinghorn Busby, a human development and social policy doctoral student, will delve deeper into studying neighborhood effects on teachers and children as a new member of the Frances Degen Horowitz Millennium Scholars Program, which is awarded to promising young minority scholars who plan to pursue a career in the field of child development. 
  • Sarah Collier, a human development and social policy doctoral student, won the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology Travel Award, which provides awards for the highest rated abstracts submitted by student members of the ISPNE, or postdoc members in their first year after completing their doctoral degree.
  • Sheridan Fuller, a human development and social policy doctoral student, was one of 40 students nationwide to be named a 2018 Health Policy Research Scholar by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The leadership development program is designed for second-year doctoral students who are interested in translating their research into evidence-based health policy. As part of the program, Fuller will learn how to advance a “culture of health,” enabling people to live longer, healthier lives both now and for future generations.
  • Liz Jackson and Hernando Sevilla-Garcilla were selected for the 11th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University, a three-day summit designed to engage the next generation of leaders from college campuses around the world. 
  • Sarah Lee (BS17) received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship which funds three years of graduate study in STEM fields at any US university.
  • Bradley Smith, a future high school math teacher who is pursuing his master’s degree through the Accelerated Master of Science in Education program, received a five-year fellowship from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation. The Knowles Teaching Fellows Program network is designed to support early-career, high school math and science teachers who aspire to become leaders in the classroom and beyond.
  • Sarah White, author of the PhD Princess blog, received an American Association for the Advancement of Science 2019 Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship, a 10-week program that places science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide. White, a learning sciences doctoral candidate, will be writing for Discover Magazine and sharpening her ability to communicate complex scientific issues to the public.


  • Diane Arthur (BS17), the college relations manager at IES Abroad, won a Princeton in Africa Fellowship which develops young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement by offering yearlong fellowship opportunities with a variety of organizations.
  • Nava Cohen (MSED07) received the 2018 Farrand Baker Illinois Classical Conference Latin Teacher of theYear Award. 
  • Teachers Corey Winchester (BS10) of Evanston Township High School and Sara Blair Winter-Rosenberg (MS12) of Mundelein High School received the 2019 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes some of the most talented educators in the state. Brian Hurley (MS10) of Reavis High School was named a finalist.

Have more honors to announce? Email Julie Deardorff, director of communications. 




By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 8/18/19