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Congratulations 2021 Honorees and Awardees!

2021 Awardees and Honorees will be presented at the 2021 Biology Awards Ceremony, premiering on Youtube on May 12th, at 10 am. We are seeking contributions to make our Awards Ceremony as amazing as you are. Discover our Honorees and Awardees below and ways for you to participate fully in our virtual event.

Faculty embraces Student at Graduation Ceremony

Event Information

The awards ceremony will premiere on Youtube at 10am on May 12th, 2021. 

Event will be live on the Biology Main Page. Afterwards, the video will be available below.


This award is given to a senior who has excelled in his/her academic program and contributed significantly to the Biology Department and the University, and has demonstrated a serious interest in a vocation in biology. 

2021 Recipient(s):
Amy H. Hoang
Anastasiya Melnyk


This award is given to an outstanding senior majoring in biology, whose academic profile indicates a wide range of interest and ability in biology, and who is interested in a vocation in biology. 

2021 Recipient(s):
Jasmine James
Alexander J. Lalena



This award is bestowed by the Rockwood family, Dr. Larry Rockwood and his wife Jane Rockwood, named in honor for their years of service to George Mason University and pre-health students in the Biological Sciences. The recipient of this award must have demonstrated the greatest potential to be a superior professional in the Health Sciences and normally the recipient has been admitted to a professional school. 

2021 Recipient(s):
Pratyusha Chaluvadi
Sheng Chen
Valeria Galemba
Alison N. Johnston



This award is presented to a junior or senior majoring in medical technology who has excelled academically and who has demonstrated a high likelihood of contributing to the profession in the future.  The recipient of the award will already have been accepted by, or is currently registered in, an affiliated school of medical laboratory science. 

2021 Recipients:
Phuong T. Nguyen
Nally Semyonov


This award is given to a Master's or PhD student in recognition of a record of teaching excellence in the biology undergraduate program as evidenced by student teaching evaluations and letters of recommendation of faculty supervisors. 

2021 Recipient(s):
Jillian Jorgenson
Pooja Khatkar
Adeyemi A. Olanrewaju


This award is presented to a Masters or PhD student in recognition of innovative teaching practices or strategies implemented in the academic year. The recipient of the award successfully designed a way to improve student learning in online, blended and/or face-to-face courses in Biology. 

2021 Recipient(s):
Linda Chillin
Sarah Farinelli
Brian Hetrick
Chase A. LaDue
Nicholas Minster
Meadhbh Molloy
Sasha Stoddard


This award recognizes excellence in writing amongst upper-division, Biology Major, student writers. is aligned with the George Mason University Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Initiative.

2021 Recipients:
Synah Elahi-Mohassel


Students graduating with Honors in Biology 2021:
Allison Burton
Synah Elahi-Mohassel
Collin Graham
Alison Johnston
Alexander John Lalena
Anastasiya Melnyk
Linh Nguyen
Marie O'Connor
Nima Seyed-Ashraf
Oznur Temel
Marie Tessier
Nadeen Aladham
Einas Abu El Hawa


This award is presented to a rising senior by the Virginia Academy of Sciences, and recognizes outstanding achievement in research and presentation during the Fall Research Semester.  

2021 Recipient:
Margaretta Walker


This award is presented to a junior or senior who has excelled in research and presentation skills during the Fall Research Semester.  

2021 Recipient(s):
Program cancelled for 2020-2021 due to COVID-19.

How can you help?

Don't forget your Award Slide
All Honorees and Awardees will be presented at the ceremony with a powerpoint slide. We hope Honorees and Awardees confirm spelling of your name and provide a picture. There is also room to provide a quote. If the slide isn't submitted by May 2nd, we will simply print your name on the slide. Please do not update template theme.

Please check your award email for template.

Share Photos/Videos/Thank you Notes
In addition to your slide, we encourage you to make this presentation unique to you. This can be a thank you note to a special faculty member, GTA or peer, or what it means to graduate with a Biology degree. This can be a video (15 seconds maximum), a photo/collage, a note (10 sentences or less). You can thank people, you can be silly, you can show us your decorated cap. 

All submissions must be sent via email to Genevieve McKenna, Video files must be uploaded to server (Google, OneDrive) and download link emailed to Genevieve.

For Family and Friends
Do you want to celebrate your graduate at the event? Then #TweetYourGrad in our presentation! Family/Friends interested in contributing should use the powerpoint slide template below. You can include pictures and a message. Please do not change the theme of the slide. 

All submissions must be sent via email to Genevieve McKenna,

Template can be found here