Celebrating excellence in postdoctoral scholarship and mentorship at Penn State

The Penn State Postdoc Society has announced the 2024 recipients of the Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar and Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor awards

June 21, 2024

Editor’s note: A version of this article was first published on Penn State News.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Postdoc Society (PSPS), in collaboration with Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, has announced the 2024 recipients of the Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar and Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor awards. The award recognition luncheon, honoring the awardees, nominators and judges, was held on June 17.

Kathryn Hinkelman received the Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award from the Department of Architectural Engineering. Nominated by her faculty adviser, Wangda Zuo, Hinkelman was recognized for her exceptional contributions to sustainable energy systems and interdisciplinary research. Her dedication to mentoring students and advancing innovative solutions led to her selection.

image of woman smiling for camera

Kathryn Hinkelman. Credit: Penn State. Creative Commons

Catherine Berdanier received the Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor Award  from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Nominated by her postdoc, Matthew Bahnson, Berdanier was honored for her outstanding mentorship in engineering education research and her dedicated advocacy for the professional growth of her mentees. Known for her commitment to promoting and championing her mentees, Berdanier strategically leverages mentorship to empower her students and postdocs to become change agents and thought leaders in their own pursuits.

These awards effectively speak to the culture of awareness regarding the critical role faculty play in the academic and career development of postdocs and the importance of postdocs to Penn State’s missions.

PSPS also is introducing two new awards for the upcoming academic year:

  • Excellence in Mentoring Award: Recognizing exceptional mentorship skills among postdoctoral scholars.
  • Postdoc Partnership Award: Honoring department chairs who actively support postdoctoral initiatives and engagement.

To learn more, visit the Penn State Postdoc Society webpage.


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