LPS students honored as 2024 Dean’s Scholars

LPS students honored as 2024 Dean’s Scholars

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies is pleased to congratulate Joe Daniel Barreto and Abigail Paige Blyler on being named Dean's Scholars. This honor is presented annually to students who exhibit exceptional academic performance and intellectual promise. 

Undergraduate programs

Joe Daniel Barreto is graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Physical and Life Sciences and has earned four certificates: Science Foundations, Advanced Neuroscience, Data Analytics, and Leadership and Communication. Before his studies at Penn, Joe was a chemistry major in Puerto Rico while working full time as a caretaker. After taking one of his first courses at Penn, Foundations of Life Sciences with Megan Ruth Elliott, Joe was inspired to pursue a career in neuroscience research. This led him to pursue a number of opportunities beginning with a role as the lead of grant writing at Esurgi Biotech. He then completed a Research Experience for Undergraduates with Stanford’s Radiological Sciences Laboratory at the laboratory of Dr. Jennifer McNab, working on a project to optimize MRI data pre-processing. He eventually presented this work as a plenary speaker at Harvard’s National Collegiate Conference 2022. He then began working at Penn, first as a research assistant at the laboratory of Dr. Sharon Thompson-Schill and then as a research specialist at the laboratory of Dr. Benjamin Scholl where he also participated in the MindCORE Summer Fellowship Program. Following his graduation, Joe has continued working with Dr. Scholl’s laboratory after their move to the University of Colorado. He is passionate about his projects with the lab, studying synaptic networks in the visual systems of mammalian species. He is applying to PhD programs in neuroscience to begin graduate studies in fall 2025.

Professional master’s programs

Abigail P. Blyler is pursuing her Master of Applied Positive Psychology. Under the mentorship of Professor Martin Seligman, Abigail has taken a pioneering role in integrating artificial intelligence with psychological research. Her work in developing highly accurate and detailed AI-generated personal narratives from an individual’s stream of consciousness led to two first-author publications in the Journal of Positive Psychology and continues to be investigated at scale in collaboration with an organization that provides workplace coaching solutions in more than 60 countries. Abigail is currently applying to PhD programs in psychology and seeking a National Science Foundation fellowship.

Read more about the 2024 School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Scholars >