Dan Bolin Undergraduate Student Awards
The Dan Bolin Award is presented to outstanding undergraduate students who are juniors in the College of Natural Science in recognition of their leadership qualities, community service and academic abilities. The award is named in memory of former College of Natural Science student Dan Bolin.
Recipients are chosen by the NatSci Student Advisory Council from nominations submitted by students in NatSci. Awards are presented at the annual alumni awards held in conjunction with Classes Without Quizzes.
The Dan Bolin award recipients receive a one-time stipend funded by the NatSci AA Endowed Scholarship Fund. Your gift to this fund will enable the NatSci to grow the scholarship amount granted to future award winners.
2019 Dan Bolin Undergraduate Awards
Expery Omollo, biochemistry and molecular biology
Expery Omollo came to Michigan State from Kenya and is a biochemistry and molecular biology – biotechnology major with a minor in agronomy. Omollo is a Charles Drew Scholar as well as a
MasterCard Foundation Scholar. He serves as a member of the MSU MMA Club and the African Students Leaders Association. Awards Omollo has received include the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Research Award, a first-place award at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) at MSU, an Ambassador of Excellency and the Wings to Fly scholarship. He has had multiple jobs during his time at MSU—as a culinary services assistant at Brody Café, as an undergraduate research assistant in the Soil Biology Lab and the Lapidus Lab, and as an intern for the Clinical Pathology Laboratory. Omollo has been involved in approximately 54 community service and volunteer experiences over the past five years. As a volunteer mentor, he was able to lead a team of 17 mentors to guide 161 high school graduates through their college application process and post–high school transformation at a three-week boot camp. He has been on the Dean’s List every semester and maintains a 3.8 GPA.
Jenna Kesh, neuroscience
Jenna Kesh comes to Michigan State from Waterford, Mich., and is a neuroscience major with a minor in pharmacology and toxicology. Kesh is a member of the MSU Honors College, Zeta Tau Alpha and the MSU Tower Guard. She has also been a peer mentor with the Building Opportunities and Networking Discoveries program through MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) and participated in an Alternative Spartan Breaks trip to New Orleans. Kesh was awarded the Tower Guard Volunteer Excellence Scholarship because of her extensive volunteer work with the Tower Guard, including playing a large part in organizing the Shamrock 5K that raised over $20,000 for the RCPD program at MSU. In addition to taking classes and volunteering, Kesh also works as an undergraduate learning assistant for BS 161, a research assistant for MSU and as a nursing assistant at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester and maintains a 4.0 GPA.
Amna Ahmad, genomics and molecular genetics
Amna Ahmad is from East Lansing, Mich., and is a genomics and molecular genetics major with a minor in bioethics. Ahmad is a member of the MSU Honors College, the Student Health Advisory
Council and the University Student Commission. She also volunteers for the English Tutoring Program, Honors Times Two Mentoring program and at Sparrow Hospital. Ahmad has been working in Dr. Dorrance’s Dementia and Ischemic Stroke Lab since the beginning of the fall 2017 semester and is also an undergraduate research assistant, investigating the effects of obesity on cognitive impairments and changes in brain inflammation. She was also recently published as third author on a
paper titled “Transient Receptior Potential Vanilloid 4 Channels are Important Regulators of Parenchymal Arteriole Dilation and Cognitive Function.” She also presented her work at the Mid-SURE conference. Ahmad is certified in first aid, CPR and AED and is trained in suicide awareness and prevention. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester and maintains a 3.89 GPA.
Shelby Travis, human biology
Shelby Travis came to Michigan State from Macomb, Mich., and is a human biology major with a minor in health promotion. Travis is a member of the MSU Honors College, Tower Guard and Zeta Tau Alpha. She also helps with the Power of Flowers program, where people can send a bouquet of flowers to someone in East Lansing and in return, a bouquet of flowers is given to a cancer patient at Sparrow Hospital. Travis is also involved with the Safe Halloween event, Greek Week and the Crown Classic. Additionally, she is a member of clubs on campus, including Smile 4 Kids MSU, an organization that raises money and holds events for children in the Lansing area. She is also vice president of the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, an organization that provides skill assessments, personal development plans, networking opportunities and much more to help students excel both in school and in the work force. Aside from the volunteering and clubs she is active in, Travis also works as a nursing assistant at Troy Beaumont Hospital. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester and maintains a 4.0 GPA.