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Jacie Shuman Named President’s Award Recipient


Jacie Shuman addresses the class of 2017 as the President's Award recipient.

Jacie Shuman of Etters, Pa. addressed her fellow Widener University graduates at Commencement on Saturday, May 20 as the recipient of the President’s Award. The award is given annually to the senior who has contributed the most to campus life through scholarship and participation in extracurricular activities.

“I’m extremely honored to have been not only nominated by faculty, but also to have been selected as the President’s Award recipient this year –I’m sure it was a hard decision, as our graduating class is very impressive,” Shuman said. “I am extremely grateful to Widener University for everything it has done for me in my four years here and it's going to be tough not being on campus every day and interacting with all the friendly faces.”

A biology major, Shuman has always been an advocate for Widener. As a Pride Ambassador – tour guide for the Office of Admissions and resident assistant, Shuman has represented the university since her sophomore year. She graduated summa cum laude.

In her address to the Class of 2017, Shuman reminded students not to give up on their dream goals. “You will find a way to make it to that goal,” she said. “It’ll be a mess of a path, the craziest journey you will ever take, but with hard work and the ability to put your neck out, you will make it. You’re going to make it because that is what these past four years have trained you to do. Being a college student has shown you how to move with the punches and solve your problems.”

As a research assistant in the biology department, Shuman has been involved in many research projects around muscle physiology in different fish. Her work the thermal acclimation and red muscle function in Rainbow Smelt was published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, and international journal and she presented her research at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. She is also responsible for animal care and works on a number of laboratory assignments with faculty and her peers. Shuman serves as a biology tutor for students, helping provide supplemental instruction to students regarding proper laboratory procedures.

She also received a number of awards including Outstanding Science Undergraduate Researcher Award, the Marc and Antoinette Brodkin Biology Award, Best Biology Presentation for summer research in 2016, the Robert Stephen Weimann Student Research Fund, Faro Undergraduate Science Research Award, the Presidential Scholarship, and was named to the dean’s list every semester.

A member of the honors program, Shuman is also a member of Phi Eta Sigma, national honor society; Sigma Alpha Pi, national society of leadership and success; and Omicron Delta Kappa, national leadership honor society. She is president of Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honor society.

Outside the classroom, Shuman was an assistant coordinator for Alternative Spring Break, has served as a C.R.E.W. leader during freshman orientation, and served on the Pride Activities Council and Student Philanthropy Council.

After graduation, Shuman plans to attend University of North Carolina Wilmington for their MSc program in the department of Biology and Marine Biology. 

Shuman is the daughter of Trudy Hefflefinger and Gary Shuman. She graduated from Cumberland Valley High school in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website,