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Fall 2021 Alex Miller Outstanding University Scholar Award Winners Announced

The University Honors and Scholars Program has bestowed the Alex Miller Outstanding University Scholar award to Morgan Budzynski and Madison Horgan.

Morgan Budzynski
Morgan Budzynski

By Chester Brewer

Each year the staff of the University Honors and Scholars Program is honored to select a student to receive the Alex Miller Outstanding University Scholar award. The award is named after the former director of the University Scholars Program, Alex Miller, who led the program from its inception until his retirement in 2014.

The Alex Miller Outstanding University Scholar award recognizes a senior who best embodies the mission and spirit of the University Scholars Program. Someone, who in the wise words of Thomas Huxley, puts knowledge into action. Someone who has exhibited a significant commitment to the program, and most importantly, to its students. Someone who has had a real impact on the program and left it better.

In the Fall of 2021, the University Scholars Program is delighted to bestow this honor upon two special students: Morgan Budzynski and Madison Horgan.

At the onset of her journey at NC State, Morgan began a legacy of active involvement. Her desire to explore and be an engaged member of her surroundings has allowed her to learn and grow both in and outside the classroom. As an incoming University Scholar, Morgan joined the Scholars Village and was active in her VIA group, “Rock It”.  She enjoyed sunset paddles at the lake, met amazing people with whom she is still connected, and began her journey of discovery.

She quickly became highly engaged in the University Scholars Program. She has been on Scholars Council for four years and served as an ambassador for three years. Throughout her journey in the program, Morgan’s ability to build community, mentor new ambassadors, encourage others on their educational path, and develop her own voice has been evident as she took on new roles within council, explored career interest through an internship, served as a writing tutor, was an active participant in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, and ventured outside of her comfort zone in other areas. She continues to explore and find new knowledge and she moves forward on her journey.

Madison Horgan is also being recognized for her contribution to the UHSP community, our staff and campus partners. 

Madison Horgan in red NC State graduation robes, standing on a balcony overlooking the NC State bell tower
Madison Horgan

The University Scholars Program encourages students to think deeply, but also broadly. We encourage students to be active and engaged — to find things that intrigue and interest them; to get involved with the things that they care about. Madison embodies those qualities. A sense of her breadth comes across from following her interests and adding a philosophy degree to her materials science engineering degree. That is truly interdisciplinary.

But Madison does not only think broadly about these topics — she has thought deeply about them both. Not only did she spend several semesters doing research in an on-campus lab, but she also combined her work into an opinion piece published in MRS Bulletin, one of the most widely recognized and highly respected publications in advanced materials research. 

Madison also got involved. She was a UHSP ambassador. She served in this role for multiple years. She also got involved with the Honors and Scholars Council, serving on this organization for several years and helping to create social, educational and service programming for students in the UHSP.