Each year, the Department recognizes a graduating Genetics major with the Cynthia Kenyon Outstanding Undergraduate Award. The Award goes to a student based on excellence in academics, research and leadership. Students are nominated by the Faculty and the Undergraduate Affairs Committee makes the final selection. The Award is presented at the Spring semester graduation celebration. The recipient receives a cash award and the student's name is engraved on a plaque that hangs in the Genetics office.

The Faculty named the Award to honor a former UGA undergraduate, Cynthia Kenyon. In 1986 Kenyon joined the falculty at the University of California, San Francisco, where she served as a professor of biochemistry and biophysics for 27 years, was named Herbert Boyer Distinguished Professor and served as director of the Larry L. Hillblom Center for the Biology of Aging. In 2014 Dr. Kenyon accepted her current position as Vice President of Aging Research at Calico. She is a pioneer in aging research: in 1993, Kenyon showed that a single mutation could double the lifespan of the roundworm, C. elegans, sparking renewed interest in the molecular biology of aging. Kenyon earned her Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed her postdoctoral work with Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a former president of the Genetics Society of America. She has received many prizes for her work, including the King Faisal Prize for Medicine and the American Association of Medicine Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences.

Genetics majors graduating in the 2016 - 2017 academic year are encouraged to apply for the Cynthia Kenyon Outstanding Undergraduate Award.

Contact Beverly Ford for information on applying.

Past winners of the Cynthia Kenyon Outstanding Undergraduate Award

2016 Patrick Griffin

2015 Amy Webster

2014 Philip Grayeski

2013 Drexel Neumann and Spencer Mitchell

2012 Daniel Piqué  

2011 Christina Swoope

2010 Cullen Timmons  

2009 Sara Pope

2008 Elizabeth A. Riggle  

2007 Shannon Yu

2006 Rebekah L. Rogers  

2005 Kelly S. Kopf

2004 Adrianne Nehrling  

2003 Judson A. Lewis

2002 Frank Parker Hudson III  

2001 Margaret Snoke

2000 Asa Cordle and Holly Gooding