College Students Receive President’s Prizes

The competitive awards fund meaningful post-graduation projects.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Four seniors in the College of Arts & Sciences were recipients of the 2019 President’s Engagement Prize and President’s Innovation Prize. Awarded annually, the prizes empower Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each prize-winning project will receive $100,000, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member.

Summer Kollie, C’19, Princess Aghayere, C’19, and Oladunni Alomaja, EAS’19

Photo Credit: Eric Sucar

Engagement Prize winners include Princess Aghayere, C’19, Summer Kollie, C’19, and Oladunni Alomaja, EAS’19, who received the award for Rebound Liberia, an organization that will use basketball as a tool to bridge the literacy gap between men and women and as a mechanism for youth to cope with the trauma and stress of daily life in post-conflict Liberia. Brendan Taliaferro, C’19, received an Engagement Prize for his project, Host Homes for LGBTQ Youth in Philadelphia. Host Homes addresses the dire need for safe and stable emergency housing for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.

Katherine Sizov, C’19, and Malika Shukurova, EAS’19, were awarded a President’s Innovation Prize for Strella Biotechnology, a startup that is developing a bio-sensor that can predict the maturity of virtually any fresh fruit. 

“I am immensely proud of our students’ commitment to meaningful work that extends beyond the classroom and the campus,” says Penn President Amy Gutmann. “I congratulate all of this year’s Prize recipients, and I wish them the very best as they move forward with their projects.”