Students Garner National Awards
September 23, 2012
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 engineer- ing, 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 282 students nationally in spring 2012.
Demonstrating growing recognition of Lewis & Clark’s leadership in the sciences, eight Lewis & Clark students have received Goldwater scholarships in just the past five years.
Taylor Murphy CAS ’13
Hometown: San Francisco
Majors: Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Mathematics
Why the sciences? I’ve always had an interest in science, but it was my experience in a high school biochemistry course that motivated me to pursue the sciences in college. During that course, I learned about cellular functions on the molecular level. I was fascinated by how this knowledge can be applied to the understanding and treatment of diseases.
Faculty-student collaboration: My favorite aspect of being a student
at Lewis & Clark has been having the opportunity to work closely with professors. In the spring of 2011, I began working in Professor Janis Lochner’s lab, where we perform research studying neuromodulatory proteins and their role in long-term memory formation. My experience working in the lab has inspired me to pursue a career in the sciences.
Future plans: After completing my undergraduate studies, I plan to enter a neuroscience Ph.D. program with the goal of contributing to scientific developments in this area. My background in biochemistry will allow me to pursue work in molecular and cellular neurobiology, while my focus on mathematics will allow me to explore areas of computational neuroscience.
The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding potential and a commitment to preserving, protecting, or restoring environmental resources. The scholarships of up to $5,000 each were awarded to only 80 college students nationwide.
Over the past 11 years, Lewis & Clark students have been named Udall Scholars 9 times.
Micah Leinbach CAS ’14
Major: Environmental Studies
Why the environment? I have to cite the usual fare of the environmental- ist: vivid outdoor experiences in places that mean a lot to me. I grew up in the state that inspired John Muir and Aldo Leopold as boys. But I also grew up in a city, where I was keenly aware of the human dimension to my world—that dimension helped build it!
Issues of environment simply allow me to flex a huge range of muscles, both the mental (when I wonder) and the physical (when I work). This field has an irresistible appeal.
Environmental advocacy: Anyone who has read Muir or Leopold or Rachel Carson knows that when we talk about living well in a place—the fundamental struggle environmentalists address—we’re wrestling with those two ideas I mentioned: work and wonder.
I don’t buy into everything those folks said, but work and wonder are themes I try to live by in life.
Honestly, it is thrilling to interrupt a lesson in stream ecology to teach people to safely navigate a canyon stream in flood, or to use the weather to show how climate patterns are governed by the exact same principles that help your coat keep you warm. Almost every weekend students get challenges like that through College Outdoors—Joe Yuska and the rest of the staff run an exceptional program.
Lewis & Clark itself is a great testing ground for sustainability issues. Two years
ago, we got a C on the Sierra Club’s report card. There were good reasons for that. This year, we were the top school in Oregon. And there is a good reason for that: my peers and the staff empowering them. Amy Dvorak runs our sustainability office. Anyone who wants to do something green on this campus should get to know Amy.
Faculty-student collaboration: No question, the faculty are the lifeblood of the institution’s values. They care. Professors have sought me out to talk about my future when I’ve never even had a class with them. Liz Safran, the environmental studies director, is a great example. She has turned so many nonscience types into geology geeks through her theatrics and passion. Jim Proctor is also doing great work getting students noticed through his Situating the Global Environment initiative. It is tearing down the perceived divide between “academic” and “practical” pursuits.
We don’t often acknowledge it, but bitter battles define the progress of this institution, academia writ large, and environmental action alike. Faculty go at each other’s ideas with a (politely constrained) vengeance all the time. I love it when they let students be a part
of that process; it has taught me a lot. If you can avoid antagonism for its own sake while reveling in the conflict, you’ll learn. And that’s our goal, right?
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.
Nine graduating seniors 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 2012–13 academic year:
Ella Antell B.A.’12, teaching, Russia
Hillary Cline B.A. ’12, teaching, Russia
Maelia DuBois B.A. ’12, teaching, Germany
Kat Heinrichs B.A. ’12, teaching, Austria Benjamin Moseley B.A. ’12, teaching, Indonesia
Renda Nazzal B.A. ’12, teaching, Morocco
Annalisa Peterson B.A. ’12, teaching, Indonesia
Alyssa Ransbury B.A. ’12, teaching, Bangladesh
Laura Santos-Bishop B.A. ’12, teaching, Armenia
For more information about these and other scholars, visit Honors and Achievements.