Department of Biomedical Engineering Awards for 2020

Undergraduate Student Awards

Watch the 2020 Undergraduate Student Awards Ceremony

Fred S. Grodins Award for Academic Excellence

Dr. Fred S. Grodins may be considered one of the founding fathers of the field of biomedical

engineering. Trained as a medical doctor, he established himself as a pioneering researcher in physiological systems, in particular the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In 1967, he was recruited to USC to establish a formal program in biomedical engineering. Under Dr. Grodins’ leadership, a graduate and undergraduate biomedical engineering program was initiated. This Award recognizes a graduating senior for outstanding academic achievement in the BME program as well as an established record of participation in bioengineering research and service to the department and/or university.

Winner: Neelesh Bagrodia

Neelesh Bagrodia is an outstanding scholar and member of the Viterbi community.  He been heavily involved in research throughout his four years at USC, including the overseas Viterbi Tsinghua University Research program. Neelesh earned the designation of the Viterbi School of Engineering Research Fellow, a title only the top 10% of the class achieves. As part of this award, he conducts graduate-level research in Dr. Pin Wang’s lab. Neelesh has also been active in Engineers Without Borders, Global Medical training, and the Hudson Clinic. Neelesh is friendly and outgoing, often organizing dinners with the other researchers in his lab, and he has a passion for learning. In addition to all this, Neelesh has earned a perfect 4.0 GPA while preparing for medical school. The USC Department of Biomedical Engineering is proud to name Neelesh Bagrodia as our 2020 winner of the Fred S. Grodins Award for Academic Excellence.

Alfred Mann Institute Award for Academic Excellence in Biomedical Engineering

Awarded to a junior BME student in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements.

Winner: Ahmed Mohamed

Alfred Mann Institute Award for Outstanding Research in Biomedical Engineering

Awarded to BME a senior who has demonstrated excellence in biomedical research in their work with a BME faculty member.

Winner: Johan Joo

Alfred Mann Institute Award for Design Innovation in Biomedical Engineering

Awarded to a BME student team for innovative health care applications, through their senior design project or other competitions.

Winner: Team DFUT (Julia Morelli, Jamie Schlacter, Megan Schoen, Abigail Stepnitz, Meredith Troy), for their design of a system to diagnose and track foot ulcers in patients with poor peripheral perfusion, a condition that affects a large fraction of patients with diabetes.

Alfred Mann Institute Award for Leadership in Biomedical Engineering

Awarded to a BME senior who has exhibited exemplary leadership in support of the biomedical engineering student community.

Winner: Kristie Leung 

University Level Recognition

Neelesh Bagrodia received a University Trustees Award (presented to the graduating senior man who has attained the highest scholarship average of all male students for the four-year period of their undergraduate careers in the University)

Gavin Kress was named one of the two University Salutatorians.

Gavin has accomplished quite a bit in just two years at USC. In addition to his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, he will also earn a minor in Physics, with a near-perfect 3.98 GPA.  He has conducted cancer research and been active with the USC Transfer Student Association.

Graduate Student Awards

PhD Awards

  • Hydari Begum – Best Research Assistant Award
  • Joycelyn Yip – Best Research Assistant Award
  • Jeffrey Tanedo – Jenny Wang Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Sean Burkitt – Viterbi Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award

Master’s Awards

  • Eleanor Mina Sung – Academic Excellence Award
  • Niloufar Rajabshirzi – Service Award

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