MELBOURNE, FLA.—At Florida Institute of Technology’s recent Honors Convocation, Janelle Branch earned the 2012 Donald R. Mason Award. It is presented annually to the outstanding senior in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Branch, who holds a near-perfect grade point average, will graduate May 5. She is a 2008 graduate of Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kan.
Branch has played on the Florida Tech Varsity Volleyball team throughout her studies, while being involved with the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee, most recently as vice president. She has been an active participant in the NCAA Development Workshop, Leadership Conference, and numerous community service projects. She has also been active in the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.
Branch earned valuable research experience in summer 2010. As a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program participant at the University of Maryland, College Park, she investigated the use of liquid crystals and zinc-oxide nanoparticles in photovoltaic applications. Last summer, she also earned valuable industrial experience as an environmental, health and safety intern at INVISTA, Houston.
Branch received the Distinguished Student Scholar Award and earned the Volleyball Female Scholar Athlete of the Year Award in each year of her studies.
Her career goal is to become part of an environmental management team in the chemical manufacturing industry, working with air, water and soil quality compliance and remediation. To further pursue her dream, she will begin graduate studies at Vanderbilt University this fall.
PHOTO: Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering Manolis Tomadakis and Janelle Branch