Students and Recent Grads Win National Awards
October 26, 2016
Last spring, several Lewis & Clark students and young 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 252 students nationally in spring 2016.
Pamplin Scholar Eve Lowenstein CAS ’17 is Lewis & Clark’s latest recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The win brings the total number of Goldwater scholarships won by Lewis & Clark students to 15 in the past decade. Irene Duba CAS ’17, a physics major, garnered an honorable mention. A native of Portland, Lowenstein is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and mathematics with the intent of pursuing a career in biomedical engineering research.
“Working with Assistant Professor of Biology Norma Velazquez Ulloa on my Goldwater Scholarship application was incredibly rewarding as she helped me narrow my extended experimental plan to a targeted hypothesis,” says Lowenstein. “I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to work and discover in her lab.”
Lowenstein’s specific area of study is an astrocytic secreted protein involved in neuronal dendritic spine maturation. Lowenstein’s protein of interest has been linked to disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to neuropathic pain, and astrocytes (star-shaped glial cells in the brain and spinal cord) have been implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Currently a volunteer for the ALS Association, Lowenstein hopes to study the mechanism of ALS as well as engineer new technology to help patients maintain independence.
“I started participating in FIRST robotics as a fifth grader and continued through my senior year of high school due to my fascination with how machines work,” explains Lowenstein. “As I built machines to accomplish tasks like throwing a Frisbee, I saw how the technology I was employing could be used to alleviate symptoms of diseases. My academic and professional interests lie in connecting biology and math to alleviate the struggles of neurological disease through neural engineering.”
Five Lewis & Clark seniors and six recent alumni will spend the 2016–17 academic year teaching or researching overseas after receiving prestigious awards from the State Department’s Fulbright Program. Lewis & Clark is one of the top producers of Fulbright award winners in the country, demonstrating a sustained commitment to international education and engagement.
- Lily Clarke B.A.’15 (biology), research fellowship in Nepal
- Sophia Freuden B.A. ’16 (international affairs), Russia
- Emma Hoch-Schneider B.A. ’16 (history and biology), Malaysia
- Helen Labadie B.A. ’15 (biology and German studies), Germany
- Brandy Miller B.A. ’16 (German studies), Belgium
- Sarah Mills B.A. ’16 (Russian studies), Russia
- Amanda Stewart B.A. ’15 (history and German studies), Germany
- Devon Streich B.A. ’16 (German studies), Germany
- Taylor Wallau B.A. ’14 (English literature and studio art), Vietnam
- Melissa Wilk M.A.T. ’15, Spain
- Caterina Zischke-Rincon B.A. ’15 (international affairs and Hispanic studies), Colombia
National Science Foundation Fellowship Winners
Four Lewis & Clark alumni—all of them biology majors—were awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. These fellowships are awarded to outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees.
- Dale Forrister B.A. ’14, an evolutionary biology researcher at the University of Utah
- Kristine Lyon B.A. ’12, a research technician at Johns Hopkins University and the recipient of an NSF honorable mention in 2015
- Alexandra Nishida B.A. ’13, an instructor at Ecology Project International in Missoula, Montana
- Ian Voorhees B.A. ’12, a graduate student in biomedical sciences at Cornell University