LPS students announced as 2021 Dean’s Scholars

Undergraduate student Emily Davis (biology) and graduate student Haley Zeliff (Master of Environmental Studies) have both been recognized as Dean’s Scholars for their exceptional academic work.

Congratulations to College of Liberal and Professional Studies students Emily Davis and Haley Zeliff for being named Dean’s Scholars, an honor presented annually to students who exhibit exceptional academic performance and intellectual promise.

Emily Davis Undergraduate programs

Emily Davis (biology) is an accomplished senior conducting research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on pediatric neuromotor rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy. A passionate advocate for integrating dance and health, Davis was selected as a 2021 Thouron Scholar and will pursue a PhD exploring the biosocial benefits of participatory dancing, with the goal of legitimizing the role of evidence-based dance interventions in improving health. Outside of Penn, Davis is a full-time professional ballet dancer in her sixth season with the Pennsylvania Ballet. She has also developed and taught customized dance programs through partnerships with Art-Reach, Puentes de Salud, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, and Nemours Children’s Hospital. She serves as the director of Shut Up and Dance, an annual benefit performance that raises money for Philadelphia’s Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA).

Read more about how Davis completed her Penn degree while dancing with the Pennsylvania Ballet at Penn Today >

Haley Zeliff Professional master’s program

Haley Zeliff (Master of Environmental Studies) focuses her research on environmental biology. She is working with the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory as part of Penn Vet’s One Health Initiative, a transdisciplinary approach to health recognizing the intersection of humans, animals, and the environment. Zeliff’s research includes the development of a diagnostic COVID-19 test to use on bat samples collected throughout Pennsylvania. She will present the results of her research at the Pennsylvania Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference this year. Zeliff has served as a teaching assistant for two Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses, organizing teaching engagements at West Philadelphia elementary schools on the topics of air pollution and preventing tobacco addiction. She also interned at the Philadelphia Zoo, where she educated guests on wildlife and conservation topics and designed a research study observing family dynamics of captive orangutans. Zeliff plans to attend veterinary school after graduation.

Read more about the 2021 School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Scholars >