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Penfield's Dunn receives Levinus Clarkson Award


POTSDAM -- Graduating senior Kaitlin Dunn of Penfield received the Levinus Clarkson Award during Clarkson University's 124th commencement ceremony on Saturday. She was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on her scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.

The Levinus Clarkson Award was established by University founders Elizabeth and Frederica Clarkson in memory of their brother, Levinus, and was first awarded in 1909. This award and the Frederica Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.

Dunn, a member of the Honors Program, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and physics with a minor in mathematics. She was a presidential scholar for all eight semesters.

Dunn began conducting research in Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering Dean William Jemison's lab in the summer of 2014, where she helped develop a 2-D and 3-D underwater hybrid lidar-radar imaging system. She has continued working in the lab for her Honors Program thesis and has contributed to two journal and two conference publications.

Dunn's thesis was a combination of experimental underwater channel measurements with computer simulations of an underwater communications channel. The experimental measurements were taken during a 2016 summer research internship through the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program at NAVAIR in Patuxent River, Md., under Linda Mullen and Brandon Cochenour.

During her senior year, she worked with Director of Underwater Lidar Laboratory Luke Rumbaugh and Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Mahesh Banavar at Clarkson to explore the effectiveness of adaptive equalization filters in improving communication system performance in turbid water.

Dunn conducted research in Germany during the summer of 2016 at the Friedrich Alexander Universitat of Erlangen-Nurnberg through the DAAD RISE program (German Academic Exchange Service Research Internships in Science and Engineering). She improved an experimental setup to measure photon correlations in a quantum optics lab under Joachim von Zanthier. This year at Clarkson, Dunn has also conducted research with Professor / Chair of Electrical & Computer Engineering David Crouse to study the performance of metamaterials-based infrared filter design for hyperspectral imaging applications.

At Clarkson, Dunn is active in athletics and other extracurricular activities. During her junior and senior years, she was a co-captain of the Women's Varsity Nordic Ski team, which won the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboarding Association National Championship Women's Team title during both seasons. Dunn also has rowed competitively for the Clarkson Crew team for four years and served as secretary on the team's executive board.

She was an active member of the Clarkson University Outing Club, and led two freshmen pre-orientation backpacking trips. Dunn also is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical and computer engineering honor society, and has worked as a teaching assistant for the physics department for two semesters. Additionally, she was a co-chair of the Honors Program Student Ambassadors Committee for two years, which involves organizing recruiting efforts for prospective Honors Program students.
Next fall, Dunn will begin in the optics Ph.D. program at the University of Rochester. She plans to conduct research in applied optics, possibly in Associate Professor of Optics Andrew Berger's lab, studying Raman scattering and quantitative phase microscopy.

She was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship this April, which will support her graduate research. Dunn also has won the Goldwater Scholarship for her undergraduate research, as well as the Phalanx Commendable Service and Commendable Leadership Awards.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, New York, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.