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Mackenzie Joy Receives Presidential Award of Excellence

April 27, 2020

Joy is among 12 Franklin College students honored with the Award

Mackenzie Joy, a senior in the Physics and Astronomy Department, has been selected to receive the Presidential Award of Excellence. Please join us in celebrating her achievement! 

The Presidential Award of Excellence is awarded to undergraduate students in their final year of study who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, strong extracurricular involvement, and/or service to and involvement in their respective school or college. Students selected for this award exemplify the best of UGA’s undergraduate student body. 

Mackenzie Joy.jpeg

Joy is a UGA Foundation Fellow (2016-present), Goldwater Scholar (2019-present), National Merit Scholar (2016-present), and Palladia Women’s Honors Society member (2018). In 2018, she was awarded the Linville L. Hendren Memorial Scholarship from the Department of Physics and Astronomy for outstanding proficiency in physics. 

As a result of her research in an Honors Directed Astronomy project with UGA Professor Loris Magnani, Joy gave presentation at the June 2018 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. 

"What sets Mackenzie apart from the other outstanding students I've had the good fortune of working with over the years is her astounding quickness," Dr. Magnani said. "She would figure out what I was driving at before I was halfway through my explanations.  She needed so little guidance I often felt I was just slowing her down."

Joy's work on a REU project with Prof. Lloyd Knox (UC Davis) on cosmology resulted in a peer-reviewed publication in the Astrophysical JournalJoy is a co-author of this publication. She also spent two months over the summer of 2017 studying biomedical ethics at Oxford University. 

In the UGA and Athens communities, Joy has served as an Ambassador for the UGA Department of Academic Enhancement and as a tutor with the UGA DEEP Scholars program. She has been involved in the PAL Mentorship Program, the UGA Stargazing Club, and served in leadership roles in the Lunchbox Garden Project for elementary school students. Joy also served as a student volunteer for the NASA Laboratory Astrophysics Workshop held at UGA in 2018. 

Dr. Phillip Stancil, Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department, said, “Mackenzie is clearly deserving of being honored as a Presidential Award of Excellence Scholar.” 

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