Hannah Greenwald poses for the traditional senior photo with the Georgia Tech Ramblin' Reck. Greenwald has won the top honor for Tech engineering students, the Davidson Family Tau Beta Pi Senior Engineering Cup. (Courtesy: Hannah Greenwald)
Environmental engineering senior Hannah Greenwald has earned the highest honor from the Georgia Tech College of Engineering, the Davidson Family Tau Beta Pi Senior Engineering Cup.
The award recognizes academic excellence, leadership and service, and it goes to only one graduating senior each year. Greenwald will receive the award at the campus-wide Student Honors Celebration April 20.
“My last four years at Georgia Tech have been the best of my life,” said Greenwald, who graduates in May. “This school has helped shape me into the passionate engineer I am, and it's incredible knowing I left an impression on Georgia Tech as well. Georgia Tech is an incredible place, and I'm honored to be able to represent it.”
The award comes on the heels of another significant achievement for Greenwald. She learned in late March she’ll receive a National Science Foundation fellowship to pay for her graduate education.
Professor Sotira Yiacoumi, who nominated Greenwald for the Tau Beta Pi Cup, said she’s not surprised by all the recognition coming Greenwald’s way.
“She deserves them all,” Yiacoumi said. “Having Hannah as my student has been one of the biggest rewards I have received as a university professor. A student like her is so exceptional and unique that any professor would be privileged to meet one or two like her in his or her whole career.”
Yiacoumi said she was so impressed with Greenwald in class that she called a meeting to tell Greenwald how talented she is and to encourage her to continue her education. Greenwald said that conversation has changed her whole future.
“That conversation is what first made me consider academia as a potential career path, and now I'm on my way to getting my Ph.D., thanks to her,” Greenwald said, noting she’s had a number of Tech faculty members pulling for her.
“Joe Brown mentored me through writing my first research proposal for the NSF graduate research fellowship. And, of course, I can't write about faculty support without mentioning Monica Halka.
“Monica has written every letter of recommendation I have needed. She always contacts me when she hears of an opportunity she thinks I would be interested in. I am so appreciative to have someone like her looking out for me. She is certainly a role model for me, and I hope that one day a student looks up to me like I look up to her.”
Greenwald has been making a good impression on faculty members and the wider Georgia Tech community for a while now. In 2016, she was recognized by the Georgia Board of Regents for her scholastic achievements, an honor reserved for only one student from Georgia Tech.
The Tau Beta Pi Cup is supported by the family of Narl Davidson, who served as associate dean in the College of Engineering before his retirement in 2006. The winner receives an engraved gold cup and a $5,000 prize.