2020 Glynn Award Winners

Author: Judy Hygema

Osunnuga Schoenbauer
Glynn Family Honors Award Winners

Congratulations 2020 Glynn Award Winners!

The Glynn Award for Academic Excellence and Exemplary Leadership was established by John and Barbara Glynn themselves and is given annually to the graduating senior in the Glynn Family Honors Program who stands out in a crowded field of exceptional young graduates. The recipient exhibits both outstanding academic performance throughout his or her career at Notre Dame, and a high level of initiative and leadership, either in campus activities, programs for the common good, or in their scholarly field of study.
This year we are pleased to announce that, given the incredible achievements of the members of this year’s senior class, we have been unable to select a single recipient, but have chosen to select two seniors for the Glynn Award, both deserving and accomplished scholars and leaders: Love Osunnuga and Matthew Schoenbauer.

Love Osunnuga hails from nearby Granger, Indiana, and completed a double major in biology and honors mathematics. In addition to being a Glynn scholar, she is also a Stamps Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Over the past year she has been multiply honored: with the College of Science Dean’s Award, with the Mathematics Department’s GE Prize and Robert P. Balles Award, with the Biology Department’s Outstanding Biology Student Leader Award, and most recently by being named Salutatorian of this year’s senior class.

Love exemplifies the broad interests and intellectual capabilities that the Glynn Program hopes to instill and develop in its students. The daughter of medical professionals, Love has always pursued a clear path that points to medical school. As a biology major, she did research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center on cancer immunology, and here on campus with Prof. Crislyn D’Souza-Shorey on Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease, a rare genetic disease that causes cysts and tumors to arise throughout the central nervous system, pancreas, and kidneys. Love’s research, presented in her senior thesis, specifically focused on the role played by the VHL gene in renal tumor cell invasion.

Love also spent a year working as an emergency room scribe at St. Joseph Medical Center, did clinical shadowing with trauma and cardiology physicians in Spain over one Christmas break, worked as a teaching assistant in Prof. Hyde’s genetics course and as a chemistry tutor in our campus Learning Resource Center, and assisted the Summer Service Learning Program as an undergraduate assistant for three years.

But there is another side to Love that her friends in biology may not have fully appreciated: Love is also considered one of Notre Dame’s top math students. The honors math major, in which Love is also graduating, is designed to prepare students for graduate programs in mathematics, and, according to her professors, there is no question that Love could have gone to, and thrived in, any of the top math PhD programs in the country. In the Math department, Love was chosen for, and coordinated, the “math bunker” where students come to learn how to do proofs. She was a teaching assistant in Honors Analysis I and II, and tutored pre-college students in math over the summer.
In her “free” time, Love plays the violin and piano, and teaches students at the local Suzuki Music School.

Love was accepted into nine medical schools, including Johns Hopkins, Yale, Northwestern and Columbia, and has chosen to attend the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine as a 21st Century Scholarship recipient.

The second Glynn Award honoree is Matthew Schoenbauer of New Prague, Minnesota. Matt is graduating with a double major in honors mathematics and philosophy, with a concentration in Philosophy, Science and Mathematics. Like Love, Matt is the recipient of many honors, including, including the Robert P. Balles award from the Mathematics Department. As a sophomore, he was named a Goldwater Scholar, one of only two Notre Dame students that year and one of the few sophomores from Notre Dame to ever win it. And this year Matt was a finalist for both the Marshall and Rhodes scholarships.

Matt has also been able to dive deeply into multiple areas of scholarship with great success. He took his first two graduate-level math courses in the fall of his sophomore year, and is graduating with nine in total, including graduate courses in political science and computer science. Matt spent his first two summers in mathematics REU programs, at Indiana and Emory respectively – the Emory program is one of the most competitive in the nation, with an acceptance rate around 1%. But he also managed to fit in a research trip to Germany that resulted in a paper “Ingolstadt, Italy, and the Illuminati:  A Physical Foothold for Comparing Frankenstein and Faust” that he presented at the ACC Meeting of the Minds and at the Frankenstein at 200 meeting at the Notre Dame Rome Center.

Over the course of 2019, Matt really started exploring ways to apply his love of mathematics to larger social problems. He attended a program on machine learning and topological data analysis at Brown, and used the skillset obtained there to spend the summer doing research at Oxford University on applications of machine learning to food insecurity. Back here at Notre Dame, he worked with local researchers and scientists from the Center for Nutritional Recovery and Education in Brazil on applications of machine learning for improving children’s healthcare delivery in that country. He finished out the year at a workshop on human-aligned artificial intelligence in Prague.

That interest in the intersection of mathematics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence formed the basis for this senior thesis on “Complexity Measures and Neural Networks” completed under the direction of Prof. Nitesh Chawla, director of the Notre Dame Center for Network and Data Science. In all, Matt has published papers on topological field theory and on number theory in mainline math journals; has published on the philosophy of science in the undergraduate journal Arcadian Dialogues, which he co-founded; and has several papers in preparation in computer science, machine learning and encryption.

Outside of his academic pursuits, Matt is a founder and organizer of the national Goldwater Scholar Community organization; provided math tutoring for the Glynn program; was liturgical music coordinator for Dunne Hall, where he also sang and played the guitar; and is a serious competitive power lifter, holding records in his home state of Minnesota and co-founding Notre Dame’s new Powerlifting Club.

Matt will be working at Proof Trading after graduation, and, if travel restrictions are lifted, participating in service work at Holy Cross Lake View School in Uganda. He will be applying to graduate programs in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, where he hopes to focus on building mathematical foundations for understanding deep learning.