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Penn State Alumni Association Honors 16 Recent Grads With 2021 Alumni Achievement Award

The Penn State Alumni Association will honor 16 recent alumni with its Alumni Achievement Award via a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, April 13.

The honor is annually presented to alumni who are under the age of 35 and have achieved professional accomplishments in their young careers. Previous recipients have included John Urschel, Devon Still, and comedian Keegan-Michael Key.

To win the award, young alumni are nominated by an individual academic college. Nominees are traditionally invited to University Park by Eric Barron to present their specific field for students and faculty.

The Smeal College of Business and Penn State Law both had four honorees in 2021, tied for the most of any college.

You can register and tune in to the virtual event on April 13 here. Here are the 16 former students being honored, courtesy of the Alumni Association:

  • Natasha Bansgopaul (’10, Smeal College of Business): co-founder and chief operating officer, DarcMatter, Konstellation, and VegaX Holdings
  • Heather Bennett (’08 College of the Liberal Arts, ’13 Penn State Law, ’17 College of Education): director of equity services, Pennsylvania School Boards Association
  • Zachary Brecheisen (’12 Penn State Law): Associate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Jones Day
  • Allison Cleary (’14 and ’16 College of Medicine): pathologist and chief resident in anatomic pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Hallie Grossman (’07 College of the Liberal Arts): writer and reporter for ESPN
  • Moises Hernandez (’16 Penn State Law): senior legal counsel and compliance officer, TC Energy Mexico
  • Courtney Kiehl (’15 Penn State Law): associate attorney, Paul Mones, P.C.
  • Balaji Krishnaiah (’17 College of Medicine): assistant professor of neurology; director, neural and behavioral science course; associate program director, neurology residency; University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Sina Memari (’12 Eberly College of Science): emergency physician, Silver Cross Hospital and Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Robert Mukahlera (’14 School of International Affairs): strategy manager, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Jeremy O’Mard (’13 Penn State Behrend): managing consultant and systems engineer, IBM
  • Carson Parr (’09 and ’10 College of Arts and Architecture): partner and architect, RLPS Architects
  • Titilayo Shodiya (’10 College of Earth and Mineral Sciences): deputy quality manager, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Brianna Smith (’06 College of the Liberal Arts, ’10 School of International Affairs): Africa regional HIV/AIDS adviser, United States Agency for International Development
  • Lindsay Sudell (’07 College of Health and Human Development): owner, occupational therapist and fascial stretch therapist, Simply Stretch LA
  • Emily Zheng (’14 Smeal College of Business & College of Liberal Arts): senior associate, Brookfield Technology Partners

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons


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