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Andrew March, Kristina Herbert and Sarah Zimbler received academic awards. Three Penn students were recognized for academic and extracurricular achievement on Friday by USA Today, being named to the newspaper's All-USA College Academic Team. College senior Andrew March was named to the first team, the highest level of the competition. Only 20 students nationwide were selected for first-team status. College senior Sarah Zimbler was selected for third-team honors and College senior Kristina Herbert received an honorable mention. The competition, open to students nationwide, required entrants to submit two letters of recommendation, an essay and a list of activities. Winners were selected by a panel of 12 judges from various national academic organizations on the basis of academics, activities, leadership and real-world experience. "We are blessed with bright, articulate students, and this would seem to validate that," University spokesman Ken Wildes said of the three honorees. "We're very proud of all three of them." March, a Marshall scholar triple-majoring in History, Political Science and Islamic Studies, was featured in the newspaper's cover story on the awards. He was chosen for his work monitoring student demonstrations and elections in Kosovo, knowledge of 12 languages and scholarly work accomplished under six research grants. Those receiving first-team honors were given a $2,500 cash prize. "I'm happy," said March, 23. "I have a son and I need the money for childcare." Zimbler, the third-team honoree, is a Truman scholar majoring in History and English. She serves as a coordinator of the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project and helped to develop PENNlincs, a group that encourages local public school students to become involved with math and science. She could not be reached for comment last night. Herbert first found out that she had been given honorable mention by an e-mail from an acquaintance. "I was pretty startled. I got an e-mail notifying me from someone on campus and I was kind of struck," Herbert said. "I'm pretty happy to be selected." Herbert, a Biochemistry and Biophysics major, was nominated for the award by Ponzy Lu, chairman of Penn's Biochemistry Program. Herbert has worked as an assistant in Lu's lab since her freshman year and runs seminars for the Biochemistry Club. She also serves as a peer advisor for students in the Vagelos Scholars Program and tutors with TEACH West Philadelphia.

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