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Dean's Medal for Academic Excellence

Each year, the UW Engineering dean recognizes two exceptional students for academic excellence. Students must meet specific eligibility requirements and are selected from among those nominated by department chairs and reviewed by a selection committee.

Selection criteria include grades, rigor and distribution of courses, research experience, extracurricular activities, and leadership.

2020 Dean's Medal Nominees

  • David Arnold, Aeronautics & Astronautics
  • Sophia Bidinger, Materials Science & Engineering
  • Nikita Kovalovs, Human Centered Design & Engineering
  • Clara Na, Industrial & Systems Engineering
  • Emily Parry, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Hugo Pontes, Chemical Engineering
  • Hannah Redden, Bioengineering
  • Benjamin Terry, Civil & Environmental Engineering

2020 Dean's Medal Medalists

Tushar Khurana

Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies

Thanika Painruttanasukho photo

Tushar Khurana is passionate about environmental and climate justice. With wide-ranging interests and encouragement from advisors and faculty members, he designed an interdisciplinary degree blending engineering, hydrology, climate and data science. Tushar has excelled in the classroom, taking courses –including some at the graduate level– in civil engineering, atmospheric science, computer science and applied math.

Outside the classroom, Tushar worked with the UW Hydro Computational Hydrology lab to compare land-surface models and participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he modelled how glaciers will respond to climate change. As an intern with Upstream Tech, he helped develop new machine learning based hydrology forecasting techniques to help conservation organizations. He has also worked on water policy issues with King County, tracking and responding to nitrogen pollution regulations.

Tushar volunteers for a number of community organizations including the Beacon Food Forest, the University District Food Bank, the Somali Community Services Center and 350 Seattle. After graduation, he plans to dedicate his time to renewable energy projects and community organizing.

Kimberly Ruth

Computer Science & Engineering

Alex Ratcliff photo

Since being admitted directly to the Paul G. Allen School as a freshman, Kimberly Ruth has been one of CSE’s top performing students academically and in research. She joined the Computer Security and Privacy Research Lab as a freshman, playing a critical role in two completed research projects in security and privacy for augmented reality (AR), and leading a third project. Kimberly recently received the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award by the Computing Research Association (CRA), among numerous other scholarships and honors, including being selected as one of the Husky 100 in 2018.

In addition to her research, Kimberly sets aside time to help others. She works as a tutor and mentor to other Allen School students, encouraging her peers to participate in research projects. Kimberly is the primary undergraduate on the planning committee for the Allen School Women’s Research Day, helping to coordinate an annual event celebrating women in computing-related undergraduate research. After graduation, Kimberly plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer security and privacy in the fall, leading to a research-focused career in computer science.

View past Dean's Medalists