News Release: Student Life, University News

Apr. 23,  2010

Undergraduates Receive Several National Honors

From Emory Report

Emory College of Arts and Sciences' undergraduates have received several highly competitive national scholarships and honors this spring.

"Our undergrads have honored themselves and Emory this year, including Goldwater, Marshall and Fulbright awards, as well as other prestigious honors. That's an achievement to be proud of," says Dee McGraw, director of the College's National Scholarships & Fellowships Program.

Award winners include:

Senior biology major Ramone Williams is a recipient of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, sponsored by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, which provides full funding to pursue any graduate degree at the University of Cambridge in England.

Recipients are selected "on the basis of a person's intellectual ability, leadership capacity and desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society throughout the world by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others." Williams will use her award to earn a master's in translational medicine and therapeutics in the clinical pharmacology unit at Cambridge.

Williams, originally from Jamaica, has extensive research experience at the Winship Cancer Institute and the Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery Center at Emory, with a special interest in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and drug discovery, as well as humanitarian efforts to promote awareness for TNBC. She also has done research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Ramone's advisor is faculty member Rachelle Spell in biology.

Two students, sophomore Rachel Reiff and junior Elaine Oberlick, are recipients of the Goldwater Scholarship, named for the late Sen. Barry Goldwater. The award provides up to $7500 annually for tuition or other education-related expenses in their remaining years at Emory.

Sophomores and juniors in the hard sciences, math and engineering may apply and must have an excellent academic record, substantive research experience and plans to pursue advanced degrees after graduation in preparation for a career in research. They were among the 278 recipients chosen from a pool of students across the country.

Oberlick, a biology major and Spanish minor, is the managing editor of Hybrid Vigor and an INSPIRE scholar (Interdisciplinary Science Program for the Integrating Research into Education). She has done research on triple-negative and triple-positive breast cancer at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute in the lab of Dipali Sharma since her freshman year.

Reiff, a double major in biology and music, works in the neuroscience and pharmacology lab of Emory School of Medicine Professor Randy Hall, and will study the auditory system in a Howard Hughes Medical Institute lab in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this summer. Reiff also plays the violin in the Emory Symphony Orchestra and the Emory Chamber Music Program.

Kaitlyn Bankieris is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to the United Kingdom, one of only 27 out of 600 applicants. Bankieris is a neuroscience and behavioral biology major and linguistics minor. She plans to complete a masters in science in the psychology of language at the University of Edinburgh.

College senior Tiffany Gills is one of 25 recipients nationwide to receive the Woodrow Wilson Rockefeller Brothers Fund for Aspiring Teachers of Color.  Emory is among only 25 schools allowed to nominate. She'll receive $30,000 to support a masters in education in preparation to teach in a high-needs school.

Last fall, senior anthropology and classics major Katy Marklein was selected for a Marshall Scholar, and McGraw says other students are awaiting word on Fulbright awards.

"We have excellent students who are pursuing unusual, important and substantive intellectual projects," McGraw says. "Emory's commitment to enriching the full undergraduate experience is evident in--and in large measure responsible for--our success in nationally competitive awards."

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