Published: April 12, 2021 By

In April, the College of Engineering and Applied Science released the winners of the 2021 graduate awards, which were revamped this year. These awards are given to outstanding undergraduate students graduating with their bachelor's degree. Two students who are graduating with applied mathematics degrees were recognized: Erica Landreth received the Academic Engagement Award, and Simon Julien received the Research Award.

Simon JulienSimon Julien is receiving an award for the outstanding research he has completed on his way to earning his degree. Simon is currently an author on one published paper and on two papers awaiting review; his research is interested in exploring what obstacles are in the way of producing nation-wide renewable energy and converting the nation's power grid to 100% renewable energy. 

Simon's desire to get into research about functional clean energy led him to Dr. Bri-Mathias Hodge's research team; he said he was pulled in "because they were asking what seemed to be the most important question: ‘What are the standing obstacles that are preventing national power grids from converting to 100% renewable energy in the near or distant future?' " Since joining Dr. Hodge's team, Dr. Hodge explained that he has "been impressed with [Simon's] inquisitiveness, enthusiasm and deep desire to learn more about renewable energy and power systems."

Simon will be staying with the Applied Math department another year as he completes his Master's degree in applied mathematics! The College of Engineering & Applied Science has written a profile on Simon Julien


Erica LandrethErica Landreth is receiving her award for her interdisciplinary academic and work record. Erica will graduate not only with a degree in applied mathematics, but also with a certificate in neuroscience and a minor in chemistry. During her undergraduate studies, Erica has completed an internship at the MIT Lincoln Lab and worked in Professor Niels Damrauer's chemistry lab. At the MIT Lincoln Lab, Erica completed a project that projected the probability of observing a cloud-free line-of-sight using atmospheric data. At Damrauer's chemistry lab, her work did not go unnoticed, as Professor Damrauer explained that Landreth is a "natural thinker" who embraces interdisciplinary work between applied mathematics and the natural sciences. 

Furthermore, Landreth recognized the impact that she could have helping other students. Erica experienced how helpful student learning and course assistants had been in her own academic experience, leading her to become a learning assistant for linear algebra and a course assistant for complex variables. 

Post graduation, Landreth will return to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, working as an analyst. The College of Engineering & Applied Sciences also wrote a profile on Erica Landreth.

The full list of awardees who are graduating with applied mathematics degrees:

Academic Engagement Award

Erica Landreth, Applied Mathematics BS

Jenna Trost, Chemical Engineering BS + Applied Mathematics BS

This award recognizes undergraduate students engaged with academics to an extent that elevates their own and/or others’ learning experiences. Examples of such engagement might include (but are not limited to):

  • Serving as an exemplary CA, LA, or TA for a class
  • Offering formal or informal tutoring
  • Taking classes out of one’s comfort zone
  • Intentional interdisciplinarity of academic coursework
  • Exemplifying collaboration and teamwork in a class
  • Supporting and/or contributing to an inclusive learning environment
  • Adopting entrepreneurial or innovative approaches to an assignment/project
  • Contributing to a department/program curriculum committee as a student representative

Global Engagement Award

Emily Zuetell, Mechanical Engineering BS + Applied Mathematics BS

This award recognizes undergraduate students who are globally engaged in areas such as research, service, professional work, study abroad, EWB, EDC, Global Engineering, etc. The engagement does not need to be service-oriented, but engagement should demonstrate positive impact in increasing global awareness on the CU campus or community and/or bringing CU out into the world.  Engagement should demonstrate:

  • Initiative demonstrated toward fostering global understanding
  • Substantiveness of engagement (duration, depth of interaction, number of interactions)
  • Impact of engagement on host community (bringing CU to the world) or on the CU campus
  • Evidence of global learning, such as appreciation of other cultures and knowledge systems and/or ability to communicate and deliver technical practice across cultures

Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Award

Shu-Yu (Michelle) Lin, Aerospace Engineering Sciences BS + Applied Mathematics BS

This award recognizes undergraduate students who make substantive contributions to JEDI work on- or off-campus. Examples of contributions might include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing, leading and implementing JEDI-related activities
  • Participation in and advocacy of JEDI work
  • Mentoring and supporting students historically underrepresented in engineering
  • Improving the culture and climate within the college

Research Award

Jimmy Gammell, Electrical & Computer Engineering BS + Applied Mathematics BS

Simon Julien, Applied Mathematics BS

Shu-Yu (Michelle) Lin, Aerospace Engineering Sciences BS + Applied Mathematics BS

Jenna Trost, Chemical Engineering BS + Applied Mathematics BS

This award recognizes undergraduate students with demonstrated excellence in research. Research endeavors should demonstrate:

  • Research could be an extension of academic work or DLA appointment, but student should demonstrate one or more of the following:
    • Peer-reviewed journal publication
    • Conference/symposium presentation (paper or poster)
    • Research spanning more than one field (transdisciplinary)
    • Research extended beyond CU (at another university, national lab, etc.)
  • Significance and Impact of research (new knowledge, extends progress in a given field, societal, financial)

Outstanding Undergraduate of the College

Emily Zuetell, Mechanical Engineering BS + Applied Mathematics BS

This award recognizes one undergraduate student who has maximized their educational experience in a holistic way, such as active participation in ProReady areas of career/professional development, internship(s), research, global engagement, student societies and professional organizations, health and well-being strategies for themselves and others in the community, resilience in pursuing academic endeavors while experiencing academic and personal challenges, going the extra mile, etc.


The department congratulates all of these outstanding students for these great achievements! A list of the awards given and previous recipients can be found on the Graduating Student Awards page or the 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Awards page from the College of Engineering & Applied Science.