Five sophomores honored with Giumette Academic Achievement Award

Sophomores Zoe Brown ’17, Hatice Guc ’17, Myung Joo Khang ’17, Khalil Oppenheimer ’17 and Leah Shapiro ’17 have all earned this year’s Giumette Academic Achievement Award. The award provides $5,000 per semester to currently enrolled sophomores for their remaining four semesters at Brandeis and was developed by the Office of Students and Enrollment, in conjunction with the Student Union and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
The award recognizes rising juniors who have distinguished themselves in their course of study, made a significant contribution to the community, have a GPA of 3.50 or higher and are not already receiving other merit awards. The award, which began in 2004 as the Brandeis Academic Achievement Award, was re-named this year in honor of Peter Giumette, who served as the dean of Student Financial Services for more than 20 years. Giumette had a deep commitment to increasing access to educational opportunities for first-generation and low-income students.
Zoe Brown '17 is double majoring in neuroscience and psychology and has worked as a research assistant in Professor Arthur Wingfield's Memory and Cognition Lab. This experience led Brown to an internship at McLean Hospital, where she works in the bipolar and schizophrenia division. In addition to excelling within both of her major areas of study, Brown has served as a tutor for Brandeis’ Waltham Group tutoring program and as an orientation leader. She also has participated in music performance on campus, including as a member of the a cappella group No Singer Clef Behind. After graduating from Brandeis, Brown plans to enter a Ph.D. program in either neuroscience or psychology and hopes to work in clinical neuropsychology, research, or teaching.

Hatice Guc '17 is a mid-year student and first-generation immigrant pursuing a degree in film, television, and interactive media; she currently maintains a 4.0 GPA. Guc is dedicated to social justice efforts and hopes that she can use her work in the visual arts to benefit humanity. In addition to her studies, she serves on the executive board of the Brandeis Muslim Students’ Association Club. Guc also serves on the executive board of the Brandeis Film Collective Club, for which she contributed to in the production and filming a short piece called “Too Close to Home.” Guc is planning to study abroad in New Zealand next spring in order to learn more about its rich history of film.
Myung Joo Khang '17 is majoring in art history. In addition to her major, Khang places high value on receiving a liberal arts education and hopes to share with others the importance of learning about the past in order to better understand the future. She is a member of the Korean Student Association, the Taiwanese Student Association, and the Squash Club. She also serves as a member of the student committee for the Rose Art Museum and is an editorial board member for Jaded, a new Asian-American publication at Brandeis. Khang will be part of the inaugural year of the Brandeis in Siena summer study abroad program in art history and studio art, where she will continue to take courses and also explore ideas for her senior honors thesis.

Kahlil Oppenheimer '17 is double majoring in computer science and mathematics. He serves as both a teaching assistant and an undergraduate department representative for the Computer Science department. In addition to his academics, he serves as a community advisor and is a columnist for the opinion section of The Justice. He has worked as an intern for both Draper Laboratories and HP Vertica, where he has utilized his academic knowledge in a real-world setting. Oppenheimer will be a software engineering intern at Kayak this summer and hopes to continue to explore both applied and abstract mathematics.

Leah Shapiro '17 is majoring in biological physics and mathematics. She has worked with Jane Kondev, chair of the Physics department, in an experiential learning course where she engages in collaborative research with a graduate student. She conducts this research at the Jeff Gelles’ biochemistry lab, investigating gene regulation and expression. Outside of her academics, Shapiro is a member of the Brandeis softball team and also participates in the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra and Chamber Music Ensembles, where she plays the French horn. She is the co-founder and vice president of the Community Service Chamber Music Club, which performs concerts at a local rehabilitation and nursing facility near Brandeis. This summer Leah will participate in research at the Yang laboratory at the University of Michigan. She looks forward to returning to Brandeis in the fall and continuing to balance conducting research, making music and playing softball.

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