Students and Grads Win National Awards
October 21, 2013
Last spring, Lewis & Clark students and alumni claimed a bounty of national awards and honors in recognition of their academic excellence and commitment to global service. Here’s a sampling.
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships are awarded annually to undergraduate students who have done excellent academic research in mathematics, science, or engineering, and intend to pursue a career in these fields. The $7,500 scholarships, widely considered the preeminent awards for U.S. undergraduates preparing for science careers, were awarded to just 271 students nationally in spring 2013.
Demonstrating growing recognition of Lewis & Clark’s leadership in the sciences, nine Lewis&Clark students have received Goldwater scholarships in just the past six years.
Kyla Hamling CAS ’14
Hometown: Benicia, California
Why the sciences?: Generally, I was drawn to the sciences because it’s essentially a large puzzle—I love problem solving, thinking creatively, and analytically answering questions. Specifically, I’ve been fascinated by human biology and its intricacies since taking physiology in high school, and it still intrigues me that there is so much we don’t know about the complex processes that underlie even our most mundane actions.
Faculty-student collaboration: I work very closely with my faculty research advisor Tamily Weissman-Unni, assistant professor of biology. In her lab, we research how neurons develop to form circuits in the brain, and I’m interested in discovering how certain protein factors affect the development of these neurons. This has been the most valuable experience in my college career and has enriched the education I get in the classroom, making me much more passionate about the process of scientific research.
Future plans: I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience, and my professional goal is to conduct neuroscience research and eventually head my own lab. Lewis & Clark, beyond offering me engaging and relevant class work, has been integral in preparing me for this goal by emphasizing undergraduate independent research. In our labs, students are more than an extra pair of hands—they are encouraged to bring forth new ideas and new projects.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program awards grants
to students and professionals for the opportunity to do graduate study, research, or teach at the elementary to the university level in countries all around the world.
Six young alumni from Lewis & Clark will spend the next year teaching and researching around the globe after receiving prestigious awards from the Fulbright Program. Lewis & Clark is one of the top producers of Fulbright award winners in the country, demonstrating a sustained commitment to education and engagement.
The following scholars received Fulbrights for the 2013–14 academic year:
Molli Bauke B.A. ’13, teaching, Austrian-American Teaching Commission
Myles Creed B.A. ’11, teaching, Belgium
Claire de Louraille B.A. ’12, teaching, Sri Lanka
Tyson Guajardo B.A. ’11, teaching, Austrian-American Teaching Commission
Kat Heinrichs B.A. ’12, teaching, Austrian-American Teaching Commission
Dharma Khalsa B.A. ’12, teaching, South Korea
The Luce Scholarship is a highly prestigious and nationally competitive award from the Henry Luce Foundation that provides funding for young leaders to spend a year in Asia doing research that will lead to their professional advancement. Lewis & Clark was designated as a nominating institution for the Luce scholars program in 2008. Today, just 75 colleges and universities are eligible to nominate candidates.
Megan Mills-Novoa B.A. ’09
Major: Environmental Studies
Asia project: I worked with staff from the Asia Foundation, a partner organization of the Luce Foundation, to narrow down which country and what professional placement would be best suited for me. I’m currently working at the Center for Sustainable Rural Development in Hanoi, Vietnam. I’m part of the Sustainable Agriculture division, which focuses on rural livelihood enhancement and capacity building in rural and ethnic minority communities.
Overseas study while at Lewis & Clark: I participated in a study abroad program to Cuba in fall 2007. As a Cuban American, this was an intensely powerful experience that allowed me to become acquainted with a country that my family left in the 1960s. It challenged me to ask questions around my own identity that have really shaped
who I am.
Reflections on a Lewis & Clark education: My Lewis & Clark education empowered me to take ownership for my own educational and professional journey. As an environmental studies major, I was given the freedom to shape my degree, blending interdisciplinary learning with my passion for social justice. This freedom allowed me to situate my educational experience in a global context, making me feel that my classes and student activism were grounded and relevant to work beyond Palatine Hill. This sense of empowerment was forged through the support of professors and peers at Lewis & Clark who challenged me to be a more thoughtful, engaged, and grounded student, citizen, and activist.
Future plans:My hope is that my year as a Luce scholar will provide me an understanding and appreciation of Asia that I can carry forward with me into my graduate work and beyond.
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Recipients
The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.
Two alumni were among this year’s winners:
Laura Bogar B.A. ’12, a graduate student in biology at Stanford University
Alyssa Kent B.A. ’11, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California at Irvine