Inaugural PiN Excellence in Service Award goes to three G5/G6 students

May 28, 2021


PiN students Melanie Basnak, Isle Bastille, and Andrew Landau (pictured below left to right) are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the program as recipients of the inaugural PiN Excellence in Service Award. 

Mel Basnak, Isle Bastille, Andrew Landau

Mel has served on the executive board of Underrepresented Scholars in Neuroscience (USN) and as co-director of the PiN computational club; helped spearhead the 2019-20 HILS mental health task force; led critical mental health initiatives during the pandemic year; and helped establish the PiN peer mentorship program, in which she also serves as a peer mentor. Mel has TA'd NB 215, PiN's core first-year course, and volunteered in the first cohort of student interviewers for PiN admissions in 2021. One of her nominators reflected, "Melanie has stronger leadership/service credentials than any other graduate student I have ever encountered in my 16 years on the Harvard faculty. Her commitment to service is truly remarkable."

Isle has served as an executive board member of USN, helped lead the 2019-20 HILS mental health task force, and helped establish the PiN peer mentorship program in 2020. She has been an advocate for health & wellness beyond these programs, including taking and advertising student training opportunities in mental health. Isle has done multiple "tours" of TA'ing and has been heavily involved in PiN student recruitment, attracting talented students from underrepresented minority backgrounds in particular. One of her nominators commented, "Isle is effective and passionate in her consideration of ways to improve life for her PiN colleagues, and for the broader community."

Andrew helped spearhead the HILS mental health task force and establish the PiN peer mentorship program, playing an instrumental role in establishing the mission, constitution, and administrative & communication framework for the program and serving as a peer mentor. He has TA'd NB 215, and actively mentors younger PiN students beyond these programs. He volunteered in the first cohort of student admissions interviewers in 2021 and serves on the HMS Neuro DCDI Education Subcommittee. In the words of one of his nominators, "Andrew has just 'done it all' ... He always thinks carefully about issues facing his fellow students -- and the world at large; all of us value his opinion. Andrew is a real 'glue' for PiN!"

PiN introduced the Excellence in Service Award in May 2021, to give well-deserved recognition to students in the program for outstanding contributions in the areas of diversity & inclusion, recruitment, health & wellness, mentorship, and community building. Nominations will be collected every spring from faculty and students across the program for this annual award. PiN looks forward to recognizing many more deserving students in future years.