2021 Katona Scholarship recognizes stand out bioengineering students

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From left, Dr. Peter Katona, Inas Zabin, and Michael 
Buschmann, Mason bioengineering
department chair and professor

Recognizing and motivating bioengineering students to help the community in the field of bioengineering is a big part of what the Katona Scholarship for Excellence in Bioengineering is about, according to Claudia Borke, advisor for the bioengineering department at Mason. 

“This is a scholarship that recognizes not only bioengineering excellence, but looks at the student holistically,” says Borke. 

Named for Dr. Peter Katona, founder of the bioengineering program at Mason, the scholarship awarded $1,000 to 2021 winner Inas Zabin, a Mason senior whose education combines bioengineering with a concentration in pre-health. 

“Winning the scholarship gave me the little bit of extra push that I needed, and I’m very grateful,” says Zabin. “There are so many qualified people in the bioengineering department. But if you’re thinking of applying for the scholarship, just go for it.” 

According to Katona, the students selected for the scholarship show exceptional promise to engage in a successful bioengineering career, which in turn helps society.  

“We certainly look at GPA, and it’s a part of the criteria for the scholarship, but it’s not all we see,” says Katona. “We also look at a student’s leadership skills and how they have tried to enhance their skills outside of the classroom.” 

Showing an initiative to help other students is also an example of leadership that is a welcome asset for a potential scholarship winner, says Katona. 

“We have had some excellent applicants, and we are delighted that we can do this for our bioengineering students showing exceptional promise,” he says.  

The Katona Scholarship for Excellence in Bioengineering began in 2015, and is awarded to bioengineering seniors at Mason who show excellence across their academic performance, leadership initiatives, and career aspirations that aim to support society at large.