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Semester Students Spotlight

Past semester students have received various academic honors and awards, including:

Thouron Award

With its goal of furthering British-American understanding, the Thouron award gives British Scholars the opportunity to study at any of the dozen graduate schools of the University of Pennsylvania, while American Scholars can pursue a graduate degree at any university in the United Kingdom. On both sides of the Atlantic, Scholars enjoy the support and inspiration of the Thouron Community. The award was established in 1960 by Sir John Thouron and his American wife, Lady Thouron, to promote closer ties between the people of the United Kingdom and the United States. It is among the most prestigious and generous academic scholarships in the world, giving young people of outstanding ability and open minds the means to study, travel and immerse themselves in the life of their host country. Scholars are chosen not only for their academic achievements, but for their ability to engage with one another and take an active part in a changing world. They are expected to act as student-ambassadors, putting their energy and intellect to work strengthening the ties between two great nations.

  • Kate Samuelson (C'17) from Katy, Texas, is pursuing a bachelor’s in political science and a master of public administration degree. She is a Civic Scholar, a 2016 Dean's Scholar, co-president of the Penn Childhood Cancer Coalition, co-president of the Penn Women's Political League, co-editor-in-chief of Sound Politicks, external vice-president of Penn synchronized swimming and a dancer in the Penn Yalla Middle Eastern Dance and Drum Troupe. Samuelson also works part-time at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice and the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia. Through the John Thouron Summer Prize, she conducted research on NGOs in Central America dedicated to pediatric-cancer research at the University of Cambridge. In graduate school, she plans to study social innovation in health. 
  • Jade Huynh (C'16) is studying forced migration and refugee studies at the University of Oxford.

President's Engagement Prize

The President’s Engagement Prizes are competitively awarded annually to academically excellent and civically engaged Penn seniors to design and undertake fully-funded local, national, or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate from Penn. Each project winner will receive up to $100,000 in project implementation expenses, as well as $50,000 in living expenses. These prizes are one-of-a-kind in higher education. They exemplify Penn’s commitment, under the Penn Compact 2020, to engaging locally, nationally, and globally for the benefit of society.

  • Alexa Salas (C'17) and her teammates Camilo Toro (C'17) and Yaneli Arizmendi (N'17) will design a community-based after-school program for Latino high school students in South Philadelphia. They will develop an experiential, bilingual, culturally inclusive curriculum to serve as the touchstone for the program, which will work with Latino immigrant families and members of the community. Their project, Lanzando Líderes, aims to bridge educational disparities and help students develop self-efficacy to reach their personal, educational and professional goals.