Alfred University News

Alfred University senior recognized with SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Thomasina Zaengle
Thomasina Zaengle

Thomasina Zaengle, a senior in Alfred University’s Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering, has been named a recipient of a 2020 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.


ALFRED, NY – Thomasina Zaengle, a senior in Alfred University’s Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering, has been named a recipient of a 2020 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

Zaengle, a native of Cooperstown, NY, will be presented with the honor by SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson at a ceremony April 22 in Albany. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from Alfred University while minoring in chemistry and business administration.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence is presented to students from SUNY institutions who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative and performing arts. Zaengle is one of 215 students from 64 SUNY institutions to be named recipient of a 2020 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

Zaengle is a leader on campus, serving in the Society for Women Engineers and as president of Keramos, the University’s ceramic engineering honors society. She is a member of the Alfred University hunt seat equestrian team and has been named to the Empire 8 Conference President’s List, which recognizes academic excellence.

Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad, dean of Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering Vice President for Statutory Affairs, New York State College of Ceramics, nominated Zaengle for the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

“She consistently volunteers with recruiting and outreach events and you can see that she has a real passion for inspiring young women to go into engineering and other STEM programs,” Gaustad wrote of Zaengle in a letter in support of her nomination. “Thomasina serves as a mentor for underclassmen, especially women, I often see her offering advice and tutoring her undergraduate classmates.  She also served as a teaching assistant in our Integrated Science curriculum.”

Zaengle excels in her research and scholarship as well, earning a place on the Dean’s List each of her seven semesters at Alfred University. She has had two significant internships, one at Alfred University with Dr. William Carty, professor of ceramic engineering and materials science, and one at Pennsylvania State University with Dr. Clive Randall, professor of ceramic engineering and materials science.

In January, she published a first author journal article from her work in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society entitled “Single-step densification of nano-crystalline CeO2 by the cold sintering process.” 

“Cold sintering has incredible promise for new forming techniques which may enable additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies to create products that are not possible to manufacture in such a manner today,” Gaustad commented. “Having an undergraduate student lead such pioneering work is unique and speaks to the exceptional nature of Thomasina’s scholarship.”

In addition to several presentations given at Pennsylvania State University, Zaengle recently presented the journal article at the Electronic Materials and Applications conference in Orlando, FL.  “Quite significantly, she helped to facilitate collaboration between Penn State and Alfred University via this work. Faculty from both institutions were authors on this paper,” Gaustad noted.

Zaengle is the daughter of James Zaengle and Mary Clarke and is a graduate of Cooperstown High School.