2014 Nominees for Rhodes, Marshall & Mitchell Scholarships

Congratulations & good luck to UConn’s Nominees for the prestigious Rhodes, Marshall & Mitchell Scholarship competitions!

Rebecca Scarlett Allen (CLAS: ’15) is an individualized major in Anthropological Health Sciences from Great Falls, VA. Passionate about medical anthropology and emergency medicine, she plans a career in international disaster relief. Her scholastic pursuits have been dedicated to both anthropology and the biological sciences. Her honors thesis, under the direction of Dr. Pamela Erikson in the Department of Anthropology, is examining university stress culture and its effects on student health. She also conducts research in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph LoTurco in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology. Becca (as she is known) is President and COO of Lambda Alpha National Honor Society for Anthropology and serves as a Study Abroad Ambassador, having relished her time studying in China through the UConn Pharmacy’s Traditional Chinese Medicine summer program in Beijing. She is active in intramural sports (soccer, flag-football, inner tube water polo and softball) and with the UConn Outing Club. When she is home in Virginia, Becca works as a lifeguard at the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole, where she has gained experience in emergency medical rescue. She is also an avid photographer whose work has appeared in the Long River Review and on UConn’s Education Abroad website (see http://beccaallen.smugmug.com for a sample of her amazing photos!). An honors student, member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, a New England Scholar and Academic Excellence Scholarship recipient, Rebecca Allen is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Peter Joseph Larson (CAHNR ’15) is a pathobiology major and aspiring virologist and physician scientist. As an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Paulo Verardi since his freshman year, PJ (as he is known) has contributed to several projects and developed his own research thread around the study of viral vectors. As a University Scholar, he is seeking “to develop viral vectors with synthetic circuitry capable of Boolean logic for oncolytic viral therapies.” In addition, he spent summer 2014 as the Rubin and Sarah Shaps Scholar at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center working with researchers examining “the mechanism by which secondary bile salts inhibit the pathogenesis of multidrug resistant pathogens.” PJ was named a 2014 Goldwater Scholar for his extensive research experience and outstanding academic record. In addition to his rigorous studies, he is also active on campus, serving each year on Area Council for his residence hall and as a PATH (Peer Allies through Honors) mentor, in addition to working part time for the Pre-Medical/Dental Advising office. An accomplished ballroom dancer, PJ worked his way up from awkward beginner to an instructor and competitor. When he’s home in New Canaan, CT, he works as an EMT and firefighter for the Vista Fire Department in nearby South Salem, NY where he has been named EMT and Rookie of the Year. A former Head of the Magic Department at Belle Haven Camps in Greenwich, PJ continues to perform and teach magic wherever he can. He is an honors student, Babbidge Scholar and recipient of the William H. Allen Scholarship, the James Dewitt Scholarship, A UConn SURF Award, an Academic Excellence Scholarship and, from the New Canaan Community Foundation, a Sapienza Scholarship. Peter Larson is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Patrick John Lenehan (CLAS: ’15), from Cheshire, CT, is a molecular and cell biology major and aspiring physician scientist committed to a career advancing cancer research and treatment. Currently, he conducts research as a University Scholar under the guidance of Dr. Barbara Mellone, examining “the role of RNA transcripts in the formation of centromere complexes in drosophila.” He has also served as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Rajeswari Kasi, studying the use of protein-polymer binding for medical applications. He has worked as a research assistant at the UConn Health Center with Dr. Alireza Shamshirsaz and at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center with Dr. Melanie Collins and is listed on several publications as a result of his lab work. Pat was named a 2014 Goldwater Scholar for his research and stellar academic record. All this and he is also a member of the UConn Men’s Basketball Team. Having tried out for the team as a freshman, he has advanced from practice player to walk-on and now receives an athletic scholarship for his skill and dedication. In 2014, he was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team. Pat serves on the UConn Student Athletic Advisory Committee, is a founding member of UConn Exercise is Medicine on Campus, and coaches at the Jim Calhoun/Kevin Ollie Basketball camp during the summer. With the team, he has participated in numerous outreach activities, including “Stay Safe Hartford,” a youth basketball program designed to steer kids away from violence in favor of healthy activities like sports. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pat is an honors student, a two-time Babbidge scholar and recipient of a UConn SURF award, the Lieutenant Paul L. Drotch Award in Biology and Microbiology, a Presidential Scholars Award and the United Technologies Corporation Academic Scholarship. Pat is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Cathleen Mary Lisk (CLAS ’15) is a political science major with a minor in history from Fairfield, CT. An aspiring judge and mock trial maven, Cathleen is passionate about trial law and the criminal justice system. She has served as a research assistant for the Department of Political Science, reviewing and coding state-level Supreme Court opinions regarding freedom of speech and is currently conducting research for her thesis on the effects of personal factors in appellate judges’ rulings in obscenity cases. She has served as an intern for the Milford Superior Court State’s Attorney’s Office, the CT General Assembly, and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. Related to her interest in history, she also served as a research assistant for Dr. Michael Orwicz (Art and Art History), helping him research and document Civil War photographs for a large-scale exhibit at the Benton Museum of Art. Off campus, she spends time tutoring at Windham High School in nearby Willimantic. On campus, she is a PATH mentor and HIPS (Honors Initiative for Prospective Students) guide and member of the UConn Pre-Law Society. Last spring, she was appointed to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Leadership Board, which is working to create a sense of community and opportunity for students within the college. In addition, Cathleen has appeared in productions through Dramatic PAWS (Producing, Acting, Writing Students) and is a member of the Scared Scriptless improv group. She is active with the UConn Outing Club and an avid skier. An honors student and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Cathleen is a two-time New England Scholar and a recipient of the Fund for Legal Studies Scholarship and an Academic Excellence Scholarship. She is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Julianne Norton (CLAS ’15), from Trumbull, CT, is completing an individualized major in international relations with a concentration in cross-cultural relations and a minor in studio art. Her myriad activities at UConn serve to combine her interests in cultural criticism and theory with art. She aspires to earn a JD and practice art law. As a freshman in the honors program, she received funding as a Holster Scholar for a project that examined postmemory in five generations of her family’s artwork and included original paintings in response to her analysis. Building upon this work, she presented at the U21 International Research Conference in Amsterdam (2013) and has since received a UConn IDEA Grant and a SURF Grant to fund work on her thesis project, a graphic novel. She was also awarded a SHARE Grant in 2013 to work with Kathryn Myers in the Department of Art and Art History, researching Jewish Indian art and culture. She spent time in Israel during her Holster project and later studied abroad in the Czech Republic. On campus, she is active as a UCAELI Volunteer, HIPS Volunteer and event coordinator for the International Relations Association. Julianne was a member of the 2013 Leadership Legacy Experience cohort, through which she was able to work with UConn alumnus and lawyer Jeffrey Ment on a political asylum case, and is a founder and COO of Everybody Arts, a group that provides outreach in the arts on campus and to area schools. Her own art work has been widely acclaimed and has appeared in several galleries across campus. One of her paintings, “Unshaven Rooms,” done in collaboration with Antonio Campelli (SFA ’15) is on permanent display at the Jorgensen Gallery. More of her stunning artwork can be seen on her website: http://juliannenorton.wix.com/julianne. Julianne is a nominee for the Mitchell Scholarship.

Mary Rockett (CLAS ’15), widely known as “Molly,” is political science major, honors student, New England Scholar and University Scholar from Somers, CT. Deeply committed to political engagement, Molly led UConn’s College Democrats to an impressive showing in an off-year election cycle last fall. She has been an intern for both Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative Joe Courtney in Washington DC, and served as a Nominator at Courtney’s Nominating Convention. Despite her national exposure, Molly believes strongly that political engagement starts at the local level, and she was elected in 2013 to the Somers Board of Education. In high school, she organized a Youth Issues Assembly with Rep. Courtney for her school and, as President of the Somers Gay/Straight Alliance, was an active leader in support of the LGBT community. At the college level, Molly has been a research assistant for Dr. Matthew Singer, examining voting behavior in Latin America, and was awarded a Roper Award for Research Experience (RARE) grant with Dr. Virginia Hettinger for a project titled, “Public Perception and Judicial Legitimacy,” which informs her current University Scholar thesis addressing the same topic. As a sophomore, she was invited to participate in UConn’s Leadership Legacy program and in other opportunities for emerging leaders, including the National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership New England Conference and “Elect Her”: Women in Politics Training Conference. In 2014 she was named a Truman Scholar for her record and commitment to public service. “My mission,” wrote Molly in her Truman application, “is to show people the magnitude of their own personal power in the political system.” A recipient of the Donald McCullough Leadership Award, the Robert F. and Margaret Dodge Belden Scholarship and an Academic Excellence Scholarship, she is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.