The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes graduating students who have excelled academically and have improved leadership in our College.
The Nutrition Department is honored to present Elizabeth Jennings the 2020 Outstanding Nutritional Science Student Award for her academic excellence, instruction and scholarly activities at the University. Elizabeth credits Karon Felten with inspiring her to pursue a career in nutrition. "Our bodies are like test tubes and what we put into them matters," Felten had said in Elizabeth’s first undergraduate nutrition lecture. "Throwing random chemicals into a test tube is dangerous and can cause an adverse reaction; therefore, we should possess the same respect for our bodies and choose the foods we put into them wisely." Moved by Felten’s words, Elizabeth went on to complete both the Nutritional Science and Dietetics specializations. Elizabeth also pursued multiple teaching and research opportunities. She served as a discussion leader for Biology 190 during her sophomore year and then taught eight Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology discussion groups and three Principles of Genetics discussion groups. She also served as a learning assistant for both Biology 190/300 and Chemistry 121/220 lectures. In her junior year, she served as a course coordinator for the Biology 190 Peer Instruction Program. These experiences led her to declare an additional major in biology and a minor in biochemistry. In her final year, Elizabeth volunteered in Brad Ferguson’s lab, which studies signaling and mechanisms of gene regulation to understand metabolic disease and its link to cardiac remodeling and heart failure. Ferguson and his graduate students remarked that Elizabeth grasped difficult concepts, asked good questions and caught on to lab experiments quite easily. Her hard work in the classroom, lab and community earned her a spot in the University’s Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program, where she will pursue a doctorate in biochemistry. Elizabeth says, "The University has been my home for the past five years and I am excited to be continuing my education here in the fall. I want to thank all of my professors who made my undergraduate experience so memorable. Dr. Sandstrom and Dr. Pravosudova, who I led 12 Biology 190/300 discussion groups for, helped show me the joys of teaching and tutoring. Professor Felten taught the first nutrition course of my undergraduate career and inspired me to continue studying nutritional sciences and dietetics. Finally, I want to thank Dr. Ferguson for allowing me to continue studying nutrition in a laboratory setting and for guiding me through graduate school applications. Starting in fall, I will be pursuing a doctorate in Biochemistry in the University’s Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program in hopes of working in academia. Go Pack!"