UW News

January 8, 2009

Freshman, sophomore, junior medalists named

The UW recently announced the freshman, sophomore and junior medalists for 2007-8, awards that are based on a student’s overall academic record.

Karlyn Kurokawa, the freshman medalist, comes to the UW from the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Kurokawa is majoring in accounting and already has plans to obtain a master’s degree. Ultimately, she wants to obtain a CPA, perhaps a joint MBA/JD, and become the chief financial officer of a company.

In addition to this most recent honor, Kurokawa is a recipient of the Robert C. Byrd scholarship and the Mortar Board/Tolo Alumni Foundation Scholarship. She is in the UW’s freshman honor society Phi Eta Sigma, and also is in both the UW’s honors program and the Foster School’s honors program.

Chad Klumb, this year’s sophomore medalist, was also the freshman medalist last year. A math major, Klumb is a graduate of River Ridge High School in Lacey. His honors include the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, the UW Undergraduate Scholar Award, a Mary Gates Research Scholarship and a VIGRE grant through the math department.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Klumb plans to go to graduate school and eventually become a math professor.

This year’s junior medalist, Pavan Vaswani, was also the sophomore medalist last year. He is majoring in computer science, neurobiology and biochemistry. Vaswani is a Goldwater Scholar, a Mary Gates Scholar and a Washington Scholar. He also has received the Research Fellowship for Advanced Undergraduates and is a Space Grant Scholar. He is currently working in a laboratory in the Department of Neurological Surgery, where he is developing a device to measure brain pressure non-invasively using ultrasound.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Vaswani plans to pursue a program through which he can receive an M.D. and a Ph.D. He was a finalist for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, and is ultimately planning a career in medical research.

He says conducting research has provided his most memorable experiences at the UW. “Working in a lab side by side with Ph.D.s, experts in the field; finding solutions to questions with no known answer; applying several seemingly unrelated fields of science to a real world applicable project; making something work — it’s a lot of fun.”