Friday, May 14, 2004
Student Award Winners
From analyzing river sediment, looking for PCB-digesting bacteria to spending a year in the Costa Rican jungles studying Capuchin monkeys, Mellon College of Science students are making an impact. In fact, local and national organizations have recognized the research and scholarship of several outstanding MCS students.
Ericka Anderson, a senior biological sciences major, has been awarded a fellowship from the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM). The GEM fellowship, which supports underrepresented minority students as they work toward an advanced degree in engineering and the natural and physical sciences, includes both a paid summer internship and graduate financial assistance. Anderson will complete a summer internship at a Merck Research Laboratory before she begins her graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall.
Roger Clem has received an Honorable Mention for a Graduate Research Fellowship from the NSF. Clem, a graduate student in Alison Barth’s laboratory and a member of the graduate training program at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), conducts research on neocortical plasticity and excitability.
Two Mellon College of Science students have received Goldwater Scholarships from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Shandor Dektor, a junior physics and mechanical engineering major, and Peter Battaglino, a junior physics and electrical and computer engineering major, are two of only 310 sophomores and juniors to receive this award nationwide. Dektor is interested in conducting research in space propulsion systems, and Battaglino plans to conduct research in string theory.
Colleen Gault has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship award. Gault, a senior biology and psychology double major and a Science and Humanities Scholar, will spend a year in Costa Rica studying cultural transmission in Capuchin monkeys before attending graduate school. The NSF award will provide financial support for three years of advanced study.
Bethany Lehman, a senior chemistry major, has received a graduate fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society. One of 60 students chosen nationwide, Bethany will receive $5000 to help with the costs of attending medical school at the University of Southern California this fall.
Krishnan Padmanabhan, a first year graduate student, has received an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) award. The IGERT training program, funded by a grant from the NSF and administered by the CNBC, is a two-year training option that will allow Padmanabhan to work with mentors outside his home discipline to complement his main research activities.
Christine-H.T. Wang has received the Joseph F. Mulach, Jr. and Louisa A. Mulach Scholarship from the Pittsburgh Foundation. The scholarships are given to female students studying engineering, biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics or physics. Wang, a graduate student in William Brown's laboratory, conducts research to identify and characterize bacteria that dechlorinate polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in PCB-contaminated river sediments.