2020 Syracuse University Scholars

Each year twelve seniors are selected to be the Syracuse University Scholars, the highest undergraduate honor the University bestows.

The Syracuse University Scholars Selection Committee, a University-wide faculty committee, selected the 2020 scholars using criteria that included coursework and academic achievement, independent research and creative work, evidence of intellectual growth and/or innovation in their disciplinary field, a personal statement and faculty letters of recommendation.

For more information on the Class of 2020 scholars, see the Syracuse University News press release.

Alexander Otilio Aguirre (Gilbert, AZ)

Alexander Aguirre Portrait University Scholar Nominee 2020

College of Arts and Sciences

Majors: Biochemistry, Neuroscience

Minor: Psychology

  • Division I Ice Hockey Team
  • President of Phi Delta Epsilon Professional Medical Fraternity
  • President of Latino Medical Student Association
  • Our Time Has Come Leadership Program
  • WellsLink Leadership Program
  • Undergraduate Research, Bio-inorganic Crystallography
  • Our Time Has Come Scholar
  • Ornstein Family Scholar
  • Lois and Martin J. Whitman Scholar
  • WellsLink Scholar
  • Award of Excellence and Leader Capital Award Recipient, WellsLink Program
  • Academic Achievement Award Recipient, Office of Multicultural Advancement
  • Published Neurosurgery Author, The Spine Journal
  • Published Bio-inorganic Crystallography Author, Inorganica Chimica Acta
  • SOURCE Research Grant Recipient
  • Award of Excellence and Student Ambassador Recipient, National Academy of Future Physician and Medical Scientist
  • Award for Academic and Research Achievement, Syracuse University Biology Department
  • Dean’s List
  • Clayton Spenser Award for Exceptional Performance in Undergraduate Research

Nicholas Barba (Baldwin, NY)

N Barba Headshot

Martin J. Whitman School of Management

Majors: Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, Finance

Minor: Information Management and Technology

  • Student Marshal, Martin J. Whitman School of Management
  • Lead Peer Mentor, IMPRESS Program
  • Global Media Fellow, Blackstone LaunchPad
  • Former Event Director, Syracuse University Relay for Life
  • Career Assistant, Whitman Career Center
  • Sour Sitrus Society (Drum Set)
  • Student Ambassador, University 100
  • Study Abroad Program (Hong Kong)
  • Freshman of the Year Award Recipient, Whitman School of Management
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honors Society
  • Dean’s List

Adam Lewis Bayer (Chappaqua, NY)

Bayer Headshot

School of Information Studies

Majors: Information Management and Technology, Philosophy

Minor: Logic

  • Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Student Marshal, School of Information Studies
  • Remembrance Scholar
  • iSchool Marshal
  • Honorary iSchool Leadership Scholar
  • Honors Peer Mentor
  • Senior Planning Committee, iSchool
  • Peer Advisor, iSchool
  • Otto Tunes A Cappella
  • Student Manager, SIDEARM Sports

Margaret Rose Garber (New York, NY)

Margaret Garber Portrait University Scholar Nominee 2020

College of Arts and Sciences

Majors: Biology and Neuroscience

  • Mental Wellness Team Leader, Barnes Center at the Arch Health Promotion
  • Learning Community Residential Advisor
  • Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, Advanced Neuroscience
  • Student Coach for the Center for Learning and Student Success, Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • McNair Scholar
  • Donald G. Lundgren Memorial Award Recipient for Outstanding Achievement in Biology
  • Distinction in Biology
  • Chancellor’s Scholarship Recipient
  • Neuroscience Fellowship
  • The SOURCE Summer Research Grant

Lara Penamante Hicks (Bemidji, MN)

Lara Hicks Portrait University Scholar Nominee 2020

College of Arts and Sciences

Major: International Relations

Minor: Global Security Studies

  • Head Delegate, Syracuse Model United Nations Team
  • Planning Committee and Student Keynote Speaker, Take Back the Night
  • Vice-President of Campus Cursive
  • Division of Enrollment and Student Experience Advisory Council
  • ECN 203: Economic Ideas and Issues Supplemental Instructor
  • College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Team
  • Syracuse University English Language Institute Conversation Partner
  • Hopeprint Summer Intern and Volunteer, supervisor for pre-teen programming
  • International Relations Club
  • Health and Wellness Subcommittee, Student Association
  • Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Maxwell-in-Washington Semester
  • CAS/Maxwell Scholar
  • Harlan Cleveland Award for Excellence in International Policy Issues Recipient
  • Sigma Iota Rho
  • Crown Award Recipient; SOURCE funding for Honors Thesis, funded travel to Geneva, Switzerland to conduct interviews with UN officials
  • Founders’ Scholarship Recipient
  • Outstanding Delegate Award Recipient, National Model United Nations Conference
  • Best Position Paper Award Recipient, NMUN DC Conference
  • Outstanding Head Delegate Award Recipient, American University Model G20

Natasha Justice Liston-Beck (Statesboro, GA)

Natasha Liston-Beck Portrait University Scholar Nominee 2019

School of Architecture

Major: Architecture

  • Student Marshal, School of Architecture
  • Student Ambassador Program
  • Peer Advisor
  • 3D Printing Monitor, School of Architecture
  • Undergraduate Assistant, Architecture Studios
  • Graphic Designer, Community4All Team
  • Student Tutor, History of Architecture
  • Syracuse Snare Quidditch Team
  • Spinoza Award Recipient
  • Architecture Merit Scholarship Recipient
  • Myron A. Jordan Scholarship Recipient
  • Rubert Cutler Scholarship Recipient
  • Brian C. West Scholarship Recipient
  • Sliver’s Prize Honorable Mention

Bethany Lauren Murphy (Seekonk, MA)

Bethany Murphy Portrait

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Major: Environmental Engineering

Minor: Geography

  • Remembrance Scholar
  • Army ROTC Cadet
  • Research Assistant, Environmental Organic Chemistry Lab
  • President of Tau Beta Pi, NY Beta Chapter
  • Marshall Scholar
  • Udall Scholar
  • Astronaut Scholar
  • NOAA Hollings Scholar

Serena Omo-Lamai (Lagos, Nigeria)


College of Engineering and Computer Science

Major: Bioengineering

Minor: Geography

  • Class Marshal
  • President of Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Chapter Vice President of Engineering World Health
  • Facilitator, Academic Excellence Workshop
  • Co-Inventor of FibreFree
  • Undergraduate Research
  • 1st Place Undergraduate Poster Competition Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotech Category, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting
  • Young Research Fellows Program, SOURCE
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award Recipient, New York State Business Plan Competition
  • Raymond van Dran iPrize 1st Place Award Recipient
  • Impact Prize 1st Place Award Recipient
  • International Top 20 Engineers Shortlist, James Dyson International

Natalia Rose Rice (Buffalo, NY)


College of Arts and Sciences

Majors: English and Textual Studies, Sociology

Minor: Spanish

  • STOP Bias Peer Educator
  • Young Research Fellows
  • DPS Students of Color Advisory Committee
  • Undergraduate representative, Syracuse University Council on Diversity and Inclusion
  • Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honors Society
  • Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Robert B. Menschel Public Service Award Recipient
  • Helen Oats Sullivan Prize Recipient
  • Anthony J. Pietrafesa Prize Recipient
  • Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar
  • Best Undergraduate Research Project Award Recipient, Department of Sociology

Nicole Stallings-Blanche (Miami, FL)

NSB Headshot

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Major: Communications Design

Minor: Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises

  • President, Membership Director of American Institute of Graphic Arts
  • Teaching Assistant, Communications Design Problem Solving Strategies
  • Design Intern, 360i
  • Fellow, Intern of Daniel H. Weiss, CEO and President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Peer Advisor, College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Peer Mentor, Office of Disability Services Access ‘Cuse Pre-Orientation
  • Mentor, Empathy Matters
  • Students of Sustainability
  • Arts and Crafts Program Counselor and Operations Committee Member, Camp Kesem
  • Seymour Dual Language Academy Volunteer
  • Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Elizabeth & Alan Dye Award Recipient
  • VPA Scholar
  • 2018 Jeff Ubben Posse Fellow
  • Dean’s List
  • Posse Scholar

Morgan Rachel Trau (Moreland Hills, OH)


S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Majors: Broadcast and Digital Journalism

Minor: Psychology

  • President, Co-founder of Women in Communications
  • Executive producer, anchor, and reporter, NCC News
  • Host and reporter, CitrusTV News
  • Academic tutor
  • Volunteer at NCJW and Vera House
  • Newhouse Scholar
  • Remembrance Scholar
  • Louise Schiavoni Prize Recipient
  • Take the Lead Ambassador

Tyler Davis Youngman (Oswego, NY)

Tyler Davis Youngman Remembrance Scholars Portraits 2019

School of Information Studies

Majors: Information Management and Technology, Music History and Culture

Minor: Music Performance

  • SUMB and Pep Band
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity
  • Tau Beta Sigma Band Sorority
  • The Daily Orange
  • Peer Advisor, iSchool
  • Senior Squad, iSchool
  • LIIT and NEXIS Research Centers
  • Student Communications Advisory Committee
  • University-wide Panelist for Academic Integrity
  • Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Remembrance Scholar
  • Newell W. Rossman Jr. Humanities Scholar
  • Wilhelm Library Leadership Scholar (SU-MLIS)
  • Phi Mu Alpha Scholastic Award Recipient
  • Homecoming Court
  • HASTAC Scholar