Congratulations to Simran Rajpal, ASAM Fellow, named recipient of the 2024 President’s Engagement Prize!


Congratulations to Simran Rajpal, ASAM Research Undergraduate Fellow (2023-2024)  named one of the five fourth-year students who are the recipients of the 2024 President’s Engagement Prize!

“The 2024 recipients of the President’s Engagement and Innovation Prize all combine the highest levels of academic excellence with strong service-minded missions,” said Jameson. “Educate to Empower, Presby Addiction Care Program, and Jochi exemplify Penn’s founding ethos: to pursue knowledge for knowledge’s sake and to use it to do good in the world. I congratulate each of our Prize winners and look forward to seeing their ventures thrive.” The 2024 Prize recipients were selected from an applicant pool of 68. Simran will spend the next year implementing the following project:

Simran Rajpal and Gauthami Moorkanat for Educate to Empower: Rajpal, a biology and health and societies double major in the College of Arts and Sciences from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, and Moorkanat, a biochemistry major in the College from Stirling, New Jersey, will work to identify and dismantle barriers to breast cancer screenings in marginalized communities through education and resources at community centers in Philadelphia. They are mentored by Leisha Elmore, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and chief of breast surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

“These prize-winning projects exemplify the enterprising spirit of our Penn students,” said Provost John L. Jackson, Jr. “They are all addressing critical challenges in inventive new ways, from ensuring equity and access in health care to improving treatments for substance use disorders to expanding educational resources for those with learning differences. We are indebted to their outstanding faculty advisors and to the staff of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, who worked closely with them to develop their ideas into these inspiring initiatives.”

The Prizes are supported by Trustee Emerita Judith Bollinger and William G. Bollinger, in honor of Ed Resovsky; Trustee Emerita Lee Spelman Doty and George E. Doty, Jr.; Trustee Emeritus James S. Riepe and Gail Petty Riepe; Trustee David Ertel and Beth Seidenberg Ertel; Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation; and an anonymous donor.