Malorie Lipstein Wins Zener Award

Malorie poses to celebrate achievement and graduation.

When Lipstein came to tour Duke during her junior year of high school, the distance from Durham to her hometown of Armonk, New York did not matter at all. She was excited to become a Blue Devil and had a feeling that going the distance would surely be worth it.

A recent graduate of Duke, ’22 Psychology, Lipstein is the recipient of the department of psychology’s prestigious Zener Award, an annual recognition given to an undergraduate student who demonstrates outstanding performance in scholarship within the department. Lipstein’s project, “Defining Undergraduate Student Success: Individual Differences and Implications for Well-Being at a Selective University” helped her win the award. “Dr. Hard has been such a great mentor to me, and it is very validating to bring this achievement back to the BRITELab.” Lipstein conducted her research under the guidance of Dr. Bridgette Hard, and also received advice and support from Dr. Rick Hoyle and Dr. Molly Weeks.

I’m honored to have won! I’m sad to leave, but this is a bittersweet way to end such a great experience at Duke!

Lipstein shared that she cannot put into words how unexpected, yet excited, she was to receive the news about winning the award. The pool was filled with many other talented Graduation with Distinction (GwD) candidates, and she expressed that she doesn’t know how the committee could select only one winner. “I am so honored to represent the department in such a huge way

I can’t put into words how rewarding it has been to study psychology at Duke.

Lipstein’s discussed how she personally experienced imposter syndrome as she started to work on the project and that she believes this feeling is a common experience at Duke.

“At first, I wasn’t sure about completing a thesis. Although I’d done three years of research in the BRITELab hadn’t done something completely on my own.” 

Through her research, Lipstein discovered that Duke students define success in a complex, multi-faceted way. They tend to conceptualize grades, social life, self-care, and post-grad plans ready to enter the world as a well-rounded person. She was, also, able to link how personal characteristics such as goal settings, approaches to academic motivation, gender and class year were common links for the definition of success.

While Lipstein believes it was highly insightful to contribute to this research area, she notes that this is only the beginning. “I completed my research to make an impact on the Duke community and college students in general – especially when we consider all of the important factors of well-being. I feel that it was worth it, and I’m excited to progress with this work since I didn’t want research that would just ‘sit’.”

I am most successful if I take advantage of the opportunities that I am given as a Duke student.

Lipstein’s time at Duke reflects her findings, as she created her own identity during her time here and developed into a more well-rounded student. In addition to the research that has earned her the Zener Award, she managed to encourage those around her by allowing her joyful spirit to shine. She was a member of DukeCheer for four years, serving as the squad’s captain as a senior. Her vibrant nature was also a light during her time serving at Duke’s chapter of Camp Kesem, a summer camp that supports children through and beyond a parent’s experience battling cancer.

Upon her return from her birthright trip to Israel, conducted by Chabad at Duke, Lipstein will venture back to New York this fall where she’ll begin a position with the cosmetics company L’Oreal USA. Lipstein credits the Career Center and Duke alumni for advising her during her job search, and she’s excited to apply the knowledge she obtained from studying psychology to a career in consumer marketing.