Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: January 7, 2002
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

Biological Sciences' Mindy Hebert Earns Rhodes Scholarship

McClelland and Colleague Win $200,000 Psychology Prize

Chemistry's Matyjaszewski Honored for "Advancing Science"

Carnegie Mellon Creates Rating System for IT-Outsourcing Service Providers

HR's Internship Program for Minorities Seeks to Foster Future Employment

O'Reilly Foundation Scholar Picks Public Policy, Heinz School

Construction to Begin for New Morewood Avenue Residence Hall

News Briefs
Engineering Students Donate "Toys for Tots"

"Krispy Kremes" for Internship Fund

Physics Lab Dedicated to Roger Sutton

Hunker Discusses Cyberterrorism in America's New War

Tracy Futhey Named VP at Duke

Leonardo Balada Releases New CD

New Film Chronicles Life of Nobel Laureate, Alumnus John Nash

Martin Luther King Day Celebration Set for Monday, Jan. 21

Signing Off on the New MCS Labs in Doherty

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Biological Sciences' Mindy Hebert Earns Rhodes Scholarship

Mindy C. Hebert, a senior majoring in biological sciences, has been selected to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest and most prestigious international study awards available to students in the United States.

Hebert is the third student from Carnegie Mellon to win a Rhodes Scholarship. Previous Carnegie Mellon winners were the late Ronald Boyer, a 1953 physics graduate, and Cindi Dennis, who earned her bachelor's degree in physics and computer science in 2000.

Hebert, who has a minor in chemistry, was one of only 32 American men and women chosen as Rhodes Scholars this year. The scholars were chosen from 925 applicants who were endorsed by 319 colleges and universities in a nationwide competition. Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and colonial pioneer.

Winners are chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor. The selection committee said finding scholarship winners with these basic characteristics fulfills "Rhodes' hopes that the Rhodes Scholars would make an effective and positive contribution throughout the world."

The Rhodes Scholarship Committee described Hebert as a candidate who made "extensive contributions to both church and community activities," and who "has worked to publicize social and ethical issues underlying scientific research."

"Mindy is incredibly bright, of course, and has an exceptional commitment to ensuring that her research has a beneficial impact on society," said Dean of Student Affairs Michael Murphy. "Her integrity, compassion and warm personality-she has a great sense of humor-make her an excellent choice for the Rhodes. She is the pride of New Iberia (La.), and now Pittsburgh."

Faculty mentors describe her as an impressive student who took the initiative early in her undergraduate career to acquire a summer internship in forensic science at the Acadiana Crime Lab in her hometown of New Iberia, La. Last summer she received a cancer research training award and worked at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. In this national program, she distinguished herself as a leader and skillful researcher.

Hebert has an impressive ability to balance many interests and co-curricular involvements, said Amy Kennedy, associate head of the Biological Sciences Department and Hebert's advisor.

"Her resume demonstrates her dedication to continually challenge herself mentally and physically," Kennedy said. "She has solid time management skills and a seemingly unending source of energy. She is someone I can always rely on. I am often amazed at her ability to balance all her academic and co-curricular obligations. She often meets and exceeds her own goals and is always eager to take on another project.

"Her smile never fades and she handles the demands of multiple responsibilities with ease," Kennedy added. "Recently, she agreed to spearhead a new initiative on bioterrorism to educate the campus and surrounding community on this timely and critical topic. She cares deeply about others and is willing to use her talents to educate and care for the well being of others."

Hebert is a supplemental instructor/tutor for several classes and labs. She is an active member of the Biological Sciences Student Advisory Council and participates in sleeping bag weekends with prospective students. She is also active in Women in Science and Fringe, a student social organization. She's a member of Fringe's Buggy team.

A "fairly serious" dancer who studied ballet, jazz and funk in high school, she continues to take dance classes when she has time. She is a talented runner and practices yoga daily.

Hebert has significant research experience in the areas of cell, developmental and molecular biology. Adam Lindstedt, an assistant professor in the Biological Sciences Department, supervises her research work.

"In my lab Mindy started working independently from the start," Lindstedt said. "Her goal has been to isolate tissue culture cells with mutations that cause defects in sub- cellular organization, specifically in the secretory pathway. To do this she had to devise, optimize and implement procedures that would efficiently sort the few mutated cells of interest away from the vast number of 'uninteresting' cells.

"This is a daunting task, and I probably shouldn't have assigned her such a difficult problem, but she has made remarkable progress," he said. "Indeed, I plan to incorporate her procedures into a major new thrust in the lab."

Hebert said the three-stage selection process for the scholarship was grueling, but exciting.

"The interviews and the committee deliberations are very intense times for all the candidates," the daughter of Kenneth and Claire Hebert said from her home in New Iberia, shortly after she won the scholarship in early December. "It's very humbling to be among the group of students who were finalists. My reaction to being a winner was disbelief."

She added that the committee seemed very interested in her studies in bioethics and medical ethics. When Hebert arrives at Oxford next fall, she is considering the study of biochemistry or philosophy, politics and economics so that she can do a more concentrated evaluation of ethics.

"We are extremely proud of the track record that the Mellon College of Science (MCS) is developing with the Rhodes Scholarship program," said MCS Dean Richard McCullough. "Mindy Hebert is an exceptional student and a credit to the university and the college's efforts to support and educate scientists who will lead us in this new millennium."

While preparing for the Rhodes Scholarship, Hebert received advice from Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head and Rhodes Scholar Chris Hendrickson and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture Irving Oppenheim.

For more information on the Rhodes Scholarship see

Teresa Sokol Thomas

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