Spring 2016 Chemistry Undergraduate Commencement Reception Scholarship Award Recipients

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16 June 2016

Steven Spirk received the L. Peter Gold Scholarship Award presented by Dr. Joe Keiser

Stephen Spirk, Joe Keiser

After receiving his doctorate from Harvard, Peter Gold joined the faculty at Penn State in 1965.  Over the next 35 years, he taught hundreds of students physical chemistry.  Sadly, Dr. Gold passed away in 2002.  Former students, friends and family established a scholarship in his memory.  Because he acted as liaison to chemistry faculty at other Penn State campuses for many years, this scholarship is presented annually to an outstanding chemistry student from these campuses. 


Ailiena Maggiolo received the Peter Craig Breen Scholarship Award presented by Dr. Amie Boal

Ailiena Maggiolo, Amie Boal

Peter Breen enrolled at Penn State in 2010 as a Braddock Scholar and Schreyer’s Scholar in the Eberly College of Science, majoring in chemistry.  During his first semester, he took honors chemistry and decided that he wanted to do research in a chemistry laboratory.  What began as a freshman research project led to computational chemistry research in RNA and bioinformatics that continued in the Bevilacqua Lab throughout Peter’s time as an undergraduate student.

Planning to continue his research in bioinformatics, Peter was accepted into three Ph.D. programs before he died in March 2014.  Penn State conferred a B.S. degree in Chemistry with honors (posthumously) to Peter in May 2014. 

To honor the life of Peter Craig Breen, this memorial award was established in 2015 by family and friends with the hope that his smile and kind, gentle spirit will live on as part of the Penn State family.