Students receive University-level awards for academic excellence

More than 100 Penn State World Campus students were recipients of this year’s University awards that recognized them for their outstanding academic achievement.

At the undergraduate level, a total of 107 World Campus students received the President Sparks Award, the President Walker Award, or the Evan Pugh Scholar Award. A graduate student received the Professional Master’s Excellence Award, which recognizes the quality and impact of a student’s culminating experience.

Undergraduates who have completed 12 to 36 credits and earned a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) receive the President Walker Award. Undergraduates who have completed 36 to 60 credits and earned a 4.0 cumulative GPA receive the President Sparks Award. The Evan Pugh Scholar Award is given to junior- and senior-level students who have completed at least 48 credits and whose GPA places them in the upper 0.5 percent of their respective classes.

“Congratulations to these students who are recognized with these prestigious awards and accolades. Their accomplishment reflects their commitment to academic excellence,” said Renata Engel, vice provost for Online Education. “World Campus students are not only learners — they are working professionals, parents, and military service members. Their ability to succeed while balancing those responsibilities with their school is impressive. We are so proud of these hard-working students.”

Sungjin Ryu, who is studying in the Master of Supply Chain Management program, is a recipient of the Professional Master’s Excellence Award. Ryu works for POSCO America, a South Korea–based steel manufacturer. His culminating project is to improve aspects of his company’s supply chain management system by developing a pipeline for steel, battery materials, and other precious metals needed for electric vehicles.

“Winning this award is a great honor for me,” Ryu said. “As an international student, winning this award gave me a lot of confidence to work here in the United States. I can contribute to the automotive industry in the United States.”

Harish Logaraj received the Evan Pugh Scholar Award. Logaraj, who is in the Bachelor of Design in Digital Multimedia Design degree program, has been taking a full-time course load while he takes care of his parents.

“Receiving this award has given me a chance to reflect back on the work it took to get here and recognize how far I’ve come while studying at Penn State,” Logaraj said. “Staying true to the mindset that got me here, I’m seeing it not simply as a source of validation or a final reward for a job well done, but as motivation to continue letting my interests and love for learning guide me forward in life.”

Louis DeCordova, an undergraduate studying in the Bachelor of Science in Energy and Sustainability Policy program, was also one of the recipients of the Evan Pugh Scholar Award. He said the award proves that continuously putting effort into course work is a skill and that he has followed the advice of one of his professors to do 110% of the minimum.

“I see the Evan Pugh Scholar Award to be a reflection of putting in 110% of what I needed to do,” said DeCordova, who is a full-time student living in Japan, where he teaches English and high school math on the weekends.

Media Contact:
Mike Dawson