The Chawla/Ochoa Academic Achievement Award 2022

Presented to students who have shown a commitment to enhancing their educational experience through research, conference presentatins, and published works, while maintaining a high level of academic achievement (cumulative 3.3 GPA or higher).

Our Namesakes: Drs. Kalpana Chawla and Severo Ochoa

Dr. Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian-American woman to fly in space. She was selected for a second flight in 2000 and tragically died in the 2003 Columbia disaster. She logged 30 days, 14 hours, and 54 minutes in space.

Dr. Severo Ochoa was born in Spain in 1905 and naturalized to the United States in 1956. Four years later, in 1959, He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with Dr. Marianne Grunberg-Manago in discovering an enzyme that builds RNA and DNA.

Curiosity. The one tool that all scientists must possess, curiosity drove me to ask and answer questions that weren't posed before/had gone unanswered. I have always been curious about how things work.

Antara Sen, Class of 2022 ​​​​​​​

Our 2022 Award Recipients

The 2022 Chawla-Ochoa Academic Achievement Award recipients along with their majors, minors, and a small highlight of their involvement on campus.  Congratulations to all our awardees!

Julia Batista

Julia is looking at the camera and smiling widely. She is wearing a heather grey suit jacket and black rimmed glasses.

Major: Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) | Minor: International Business and Media Literacy

IT Student Consultant | Buzzsaw Magazine President | Buzzsaw Magazine Website Editor | Ithaca Achievement Program | Buzzsaw Magazine Treasurer | Student Representative for development of "A Place Called Progress" | Park School Career Podcast Co-host and Designer | Peer Tutor | Mac's General Store Employee. 

Catriona Ferguson

Catriona is looking at the camera and smilling. She is wearing black glasses and a gold necklace. Her hair is parted to one side and ends just above her shoulders.

Major: Spanish | Minor: Education Studies, Latinx Studies 

MLK Scholar |Premium Blend | Health and Safety Officer | PODER: Latinx Student Association | Spanish TA: Dept. of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures | Peer Success Coach: Tutoring and Academic Enrichment Services | Founder of Multilingual Student Community Program @ Tompkins County. 

Phung Huynh

Phung is sitting, looking at the camera, and smiling. She is wearing glasses and a black top. Her long, dark hair is parted down the middle.

Major: Biology | Minor: Environmental Studies, Chemistry 

Project Sunshine | H&S Summer Scholars Program | Biology Undergraduate Researcher in Dr. Andrew Smith Lab | Co-author of "Strong, Non-Specific Adhesion Using C-Lectin Heterotrimers in a Mollusca Defense Secretion" | Biology Undergraduate Researcher in Dr. Ian Woods Lab | Terrace Dining Hall Attendant | FWS Off-Campus Community Service Program at The History Center of Tompkins County. 

Conducting research beyond additional class laboratory classes allowed me to build my technical and analytical skills as a future biological researcher. 

Phung Huynh, Class of 2022

Jessica Ketterer

Jessica is looking at the camera and smiling. She is outdoors, in front of a body of water. She is wearing a blue floral top and her hair is parted down the middle.

Major: Communication Management and Design | Minor: Integrated Marketing Communication & Graphic Design 

180 Degrees Consulting Recruitment Director and President | Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Honor Society | Park AdVenue Secretary | ICTV Crew Member (Audio & Social Media) | Human By Design PR Team Member. 

Khangelani Mhlanga

Khangelani is sitting, looking at the camera, and smiling. She is wearing a black top with a floral design and a gold necklace. Her hair is pulled up with a braid down the middle.

Major: Biology | Minor: IC Honors 

Pre-Vet Chair, Pre-Health Society | President, Pre-Veterinary Society | Lab Animal Caretaker, Centre for Natural Sciences | Service Saturdays | Alternative Spring Breaks - Food Insecurity, Washington DC | Volunteer, Cayuga Pet Hospital, Ithaca, NY | President, African Student Association | Vice President, African Student Association | Senior Event Manager, International Club | Resident Assistant |  Advisor, Community Council.

Emma Robinson

Emma is standing outside in front of autumn trees smiling at the camera. She is wearing a rust colored sweater with a navy shirt underneath. Her curly hair is parted down the middle and falls at her chin.

Major: Occupational Therapy 

Women in Leadership Experience | Alternative Fall Break | Students of Color Coalition Rep Liaison | IC Mixed | HEARD | Oracle Honors Society Phi Kappa | PhiICSOTA | Therapy Alumni Speaker Series co-founder and planning committee member | Ithaca College Occupational Therapy Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee student representative | Whalen Symposium presenter | Orientation Leader | Orientation Mentor | Admission Host Tour Guide | ICOT BIPOC Student Group Member | Director for Center for Health Promotion Search Committee Member | CAPS Mental Health Counselor Search Committee Member | Commencement Speaker Selection Committee Member. 

This [research] has been the most enriching academic experience I have had during my time here, as I continually learn about new areas OT and fill in gaps that cannot be addressed fully by our curriculum.

Emma Robinson, Class of 2022

Antara Sen

Antara is sitting and smiling at the camera. She is wearing a teal sweater with a button up collar underneath that has a blue pattern on it. She is wearing tortoiseshell glasses and her hair is parted to one side.

Major: Physics | Major: Mathematics

Empirically Verifying Magnetic Multipole Expansions | NASA Student Payload Opportunity with Citizen Science |  World Science Festival: World’s Largest Quantum Levitation Track | NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission | Sigma Pi Sigma | IC Genes | Ithaca College Women in STEM | President and Co-founder Astronomy Club |  Vice President  Ping Pong Club | Engineering Club | Society of Physics Students, Ithaca College Chapter | Senator-at-Large, Ithaca College Student Governance Council | Writer, Itha-kids ICTV Show | Resident Assistant, STEM Residential Learning Community |  Assistant, Department of Physics and Astronomy | Peer Success Coach, Academic Advising Center |  Peer Mentor, Department of Mathematics  | Peer Advisor and Liaison, Office of International Programs |  Member, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy Anti-racism Committee

Gabrielle Topping

Gabrielle is sitting in front of a grey background and smiling at the camera. She is wearing a blue blouse and her long, brown hair is parted down the middle.

Major: Journalism | Minor: Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Graphic Design 

Creative Technology Specialist for Information Technology | Presented Research at the Whalen Academic Symposium | Newscaster for WICB and VIC radio | News Social Media Coordinator for WICB radio | Podcast Host and Researcher in Journalism Law | Multimedia Reporter for Ithaca Week | Staff Writer for The Ithacan Newspaper | Writer for Buzzsaw Magazine | Photographer for Passion Project | Executive Producer & Reporter for Creating Through COVID Documentary | Assistant Producer & Camera Operator for ICTV's Fake Out & Sketch Me If You Can | Reporter & Photographer for WKNO (NPR affiliate) | Reporter for PBS Activism Documentary | Editorial Assistant at | Editorial Intern at the East Hampton Star Newspaper | Assistant Podcast Producer at Gotham Podcast Studios | Podcast editor for the To (Mom) Life podcast. 

Jessica Wang

Jessica is standing next to a Christmas tree with lights smiling at the camera. She is wearing a dark grey jacket, glasses and her hair is parted just off to the side.

Major: Psychology | Minor: Education Studies 

Ithaca College Chinese Students and Scholars Association | Vice President of Communications | BOLD Women's Leadership Network | Ithaca College Psychology Club | Office of Residential Life Office Assistant | Intermediate Chinese Teacher Assistant | Psychology Professional Development 1 Lab Assistant | CRETv Research Team Researcher.