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Clarkson University Senior Christy Petruczok of Orchard Park Receives Frederica Clarkson Award

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Potsdam, N.Y. -- Graduating senior Christy D. Petruczok of Orchard Park, N.Y., was awarded the Frederica Clarkson Award during Clarkson University's 115th commencement ceremony today. She was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on her scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.

The award was established in 1921 as a bequest in the will of Frederica Clarkson, sister of Thomas S. Clarkson, for whom the University is named. This award and the Levinus Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.  Petruczok received the Frederica Clarkson Award

Petruczok, a chemical engineering major who was a member of the University's Honors Program, has accepted a place as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Presidential Fellow. She will begin her studies in the chemical engineering Ph.D. program in August.

In 2006, Petruczok received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for Excellence in Education for her honors thesis proposal of this work. Presentation of the completed thesis at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in April earned her the award for best undergraduate paper and oral presentation in the POLY division of the conference. Her proposal detailing a continuation of her thesis work led to a successful bid for a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship this spring, an honor usually awarded to students already into their graduate work.

In 2006, Petruczok spent eight months working as an engineering co-op at Danisco Genencor, an enzyme manufacturing plant in Rochester, N.Y. There, she worked in the facility's enzyme recovery pilot plant, developed computerized models for several unit operations, and completed a preliminary re-design of the plant's event logging system. In summer 2007, she worked as an intern in Procter and Gamble's Global Packaging and Device Development group, where she researched and designed prototypes for novel packaging technologies.

Other honors received at Clarkson include the Dr. Carl Michel Liberal Arts Award, which she received in 2005 as the most outstanding freshman writer, and the Outstanding Senior Award, given in 2008 by the Chemical Engineering Department. Petruczok was a Presidential Scholar all eight semesters at Clarkson and graduated with a 4.0 GPA and minor in mathematics.

While at Clarkson, Petruczok also worked as a chemistry department grader and served as president and vice president of Omega Chi Epsilon (chemical engineering honor society) and Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society), respectively. She was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the ChemE Car SPEED team, as well as co-team leader for the Destination Imagination SPEED team. She has been a member of the Destination Imagination program for more than 13 years. Petruczok also spent two years playing viola in the Crane Symphony Orchestra at SUNY Potsdam; this included a performance with the group at Carnegie Hall in 2005. Her other hobbies included racquetball and rowing as a member of the Clarkson University Crew Club.

Photo caption: Graduating senior Christy D. Petruczok of Orchard Park, N.Y., was awarded the Frederica Clarkson Award during Clarkson University's 115th commencement ceremony . President Tony Collins presents the award to Petruczok.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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