Shivam Bhatt was one of seven Penn State Altoona students who graduated from the Schreyer Honors College in spring 2022.
By: Marissa Carney
The Schreyer Honors College is Penn State’s University-wide honors program. It comprises a broad set of opportunities for study, research, travel, and scholarly exploration in the arts, humanities, and sciences. The program’s hallmark is an honors thesis that allows students to showcase their diverse intellectual interests through a substantial, independently inspired research or creative project.
Seven Penn State Altoona students graduated from the Schreyer Honors College in spring 2022, including Shivam Bhatt, who earned a degree in the Vertebrate Physiology option of the Biology program.
During his time at Altoona, alongside consistent undergraduate research, Bhatt tutored biology, chemistry, and math students and was part of a LEAP peer mentor group. He was also a resident assistant. He plans to attend Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Bhatt’s honors thesis, “Effect of testosterone on medial cortex neuron soma size in male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana),” completed under the direction of Dr. Lara LaDage, explores the change in the medial cortex neuron soma size resulting from elevated levels of testosterone.
“Shivam approached me as a first-year student inquiring about opportunities to engage in undergraduate research, says LaDage. “Once he began in the lab, he demonstrated quite a bit of autonomy for an undergraduate, which pleasantly surprised me. He was coming to the lab to do serious work, and his biological knowledge was extensive. He picked up the techniques and methodology with very little direction and oversight, indicating his level of comprehension. I also had the pleasure of having Shivam in class. He was always prepared to ask and answer questions. Overall, Shivam is bright and has a promising future ahead of him as a physician.”
Over the years, more than 4,000 Schreyer Honors College medallions have been presented to Penn State graduates. They are inscribed as follows: scholarly achievement, integrity of purpose, and intellectual curiosity. This medal is a tangible symbol of these students' outstanding accomplishments and dedication.