John Wiley Jones Outstanding Students in Science



Kristin Berger is a fourth-year environmental science student.  She is dedicated, an outstanding new researcher, and fully entrenched in the desire to use her skills for the betterment of the greater good.   Her academic record – a 4.0 across the board – speaks for itself, especially when the rigor of the courses is considered.  Kristin is very thorough and shows clear mastery of the subject matter.  She typically goes above andbeyond what’s needed, often motivated by a desire to learn more.

She shows great enthusiasm for Environmental Science and particularly for aquatic sciences. Kristin’s understanding of science is outstanding, and she also shows a clear passion for using her abilities to do scientific research that improves not only our understanding of how the environment functions, but also how scientists can work to create solutions to our myriad of environmental problems.  Kristin has been extremely motivated to gain a variety of field experiences during her undergraduate years, and she has taken advantage of the many opportunities afforded her.  She has a clear desire to use her knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world.  Kristin is an active and valuable member of the RIT community, with a contagious enthusiasm and very kind spirit.  Her involvement in research and community service clearly links her skills, and she will be a hallmark of all of her future endeavors.



Christopher Grieco is a fourth-year chemistry and applied mathematics undergraduate pursuing a doctorate in chemistry. He is one of the best, most competent students met in recent times, and his enthusiasm is second to none. He works hard to expand on everything and routinely exceeds expectations. Chris took on additional classes and has excelled in them all! Over the summer of 2011, he took on a project to investigate the extent of crystallinity in conjugated polymers using fluorescence anisotropy as a metric, and he single-handedly wrote and presented this work (“Characterization of Morphology in Poly 3-Hexylthiophene Films Using Fluorescence Anisotropy”) at the Boston MRS Conference on December 1st (H13.87). The trip was funded by Chris winning the Gilman Award in the department of chemistry at RIT.
Chris’ research project was conceptually challenging, and there were many barriers given the large number of sophisticated techniques already used to investigate polymer morphology. He dug up many papers in the literature and has generated an extensive set of results. He single-handedly identified a problem with the fluorimeter, regarding the reproducibility of anisotropy data, and worked directly with a remote applications scientist to fix the problem. It is rare to find such initiative and enthusiasm in a good MS student let alone an undergraduate who is up to his eyes in mathematics and physical chemistry classes!

Chris is in love with his science. He is trustworthy and most respectful to his peers, to the instrumentation and to his advisors. Chris is also very level-headed and shows great maturity. He is a phenomenal student. He is academically brilliant (GPA of 3.944 after 209 credits), detail oriented and at the same time down-to-earth and socially adept. He works well in any team and will go far in his career.


Samuel Kennedy is a fourth-year applied math major. From the moment he arrived at RIT, Sam has been the best student in every course he has taken. He is someone readily inspired by difficult problems.

Sam loves mathematics, and is eager to learn and explore advanced topics. He cares very much about understanding material fully. He never wants only a solution; he values explanation and a grasp of the relevant concepts. His proofs are always the result of his own thoughts and efforts. Often they have some creative twist that makes them distinctive and a pleasure to read.

Last summer Sam was successful in our own National Science Foundation sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU ) Program. In August Sam presented part of his work at a national mathematics conference held in Ohio. His findings, in the area of graph theory, were notable, original, and worthy of publication. Sam’s temperament Is ideally suited for research. And though he is a serious student, he is friendly and good humored as well. Sam is generous in helping other majors by offering tutoring assistance. His character and personal integrity are remarkable and may be relied on without question.




Christopher Mullarkey  is a fourth-year physics major and an excellent student. He is deeply motivated and uniquely prepared to contribute to the body of knowledge in physics, generally, and in quantum optics, specifically.
Further, he is a civic minded person who aspires to become an ever better citizen of the world.

To merely state that Chris did top rate work a year early in the quantum mechanics sequence at RIT would be to vastly understate the situation. There has been a consistency to his academic efforts far deeper than a mere desire to take fourth year classes in his third year. Presently, Chris is deeply invested in his capstone research. His progress to date has far exceeded expectations. His work rises to the level of phenomenal when considered in relation to other undergraduate research. His resounding success as an undergraduate researcher makes the case for the extreme likelihood of his continued success as a graduate student and as a professional in the field.

Chris has served as the President of his fraternity, demonstrating his leadership qualities and his pleasant interpersonal demeanor. He is clearly respected by and well-liked among his fellow students, and the respectful and mature demeanor that Chris displays as a matter of his nature is impressive. He is an extraordinary student whose involvement has strengthened the RIT physics program and whose citizenship has benefited the community in general.



Linnea Tullson is a fourth-year imaging science student from Vernon-Rockdale, Connecticut. She has maintained a 3.87 GPA and has "American Sign Language" as her liberal arts concentration.
Linnea is highly regarded by all of the imaging science faculty with whom she has interacted. She made it a point to explore different facets of Imaging Science via undergraduate research projects with these faculty members. Linnea’ s undergraduate research projects include algorithm development for large area search using aerial images to identify oil slicks following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, working on the NASA Landsat satellite algorithm development for surface temperature estimation, and extracting and quantifying trees from 3D laser scans for improved carbon monitoring. As a summer student, she was the coordinator for sustainability related classroom projects. Linnea works part-time at D3 Engineering and hopes to continue this work upon graduation. Her scholarly achievements are offset by involvement in the RIT Society for Imaging Science & Technology and by serving on the e-board for RIT's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Such balanced and talented students, who also contribute to society above and beyond what is asked of them, are rare - we at imaging science are immensely proud of Linnea and wish her the very best with her career!