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4 people Holly Shepherd, Brian Strahl, Gabby B., and Wolfgang Bergmeier. Gabby holds the award
L to R: Holly Shepherd, Brian Strahl, Gabby Budziszewski, and Wolfgang Bergmeier.

The Diane Harris Leadership Award honors one of our Biochemistry & Biophysics students that has shown exemplary leadership in the department (broadly defined, including leadership in research, education, and/or public service) during the year.  This award was created in 2008 in recognition of Diane Harris.  Diane was the Student Service Manager in the Biochemistry & Biophysics Department for 30 + years, a position she held with great dedication and loyalty.

The 2022 recipient of the award is Gabrielle Budziszewski (lab of Robert McGinty). Gabby Budziszewski has been a strong leader in the department in several ways.

  • She is a committed mentor – training an undergrad in the lab, Dalal, from her early days in the lab to her recent honor thesis and mentoring Dalal through a successful NSF GRFP proposal and graduate school applications.
  • Gabby is a fierce advocate for diversity, challenging our group to perform a literature review on issues facing underrepresented groups in science, serving as a founding member of the BCBP diversity and BBSP-BET committees, and pushing for systemic changes from school administration.
  • She served on the BCBP retreat committee two years in a row and nominated, invited, and hosted a BIPOC alum as a keynote speaker.
  • She co-authored a NC DNA Day module on epigenetics and was a frequent ambassador for the program.
  • Finally, she served as a content editor and contributing author for the Science Writing and Communication Club (SWAC). Gabby accomplished all of this while contributing to 6 manuscripts as first or co-author.

Quote from our award recipient, Gabby Budziszewski:

“I am deeply honored to be this year’s Dianne Harris Leadership awardee. Each of my experiences at UNC has contributed to who I am today as a scientist and a person, and I am grateful to all who supported me during my time in BCBP, including my PI, Rob McGinty, our chair, Brian Strahl, Silvia Ramos, our diversity liaison, and many others.”