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Meet UConn’s 2023 Udall Scholarship Nominees

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Juniors Samantha Gove and Claire Lee, UConn’s 2023 nominees for the Udall Scholarship

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The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is committed to increasing awareness of the importance of the nation’s natural resources. The Udall Scholarship awards up to $7,000 and access to the Udall Scholars network to sophomores and juniors who are passionate about the environment (in any field), OR who are Native American and intend to pursue careers in Native health care or tribal public policy. 

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The Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships is pleased to introduce UConn’s 2023 nominees for the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship.  Congratulations to these outstanding young leaders.

 

Samantha Gove (CLAS ’24) is a junior at the University of Connecticut double majoring in human rights and sociology with a minor in psychological sciences. She is a proud member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and she has worked to increase representation and resources for Native and Indigenous students as a mentor and an advocate both on and beyond the campus community. To do this, she founded a mentorship program for first-year Indigenous students, coordinates a mentorship program for local Native youth, and is spearheading a workshop series on minoritized languages. In addition, Samantha received a SHARE Award to support her research examining Native American victims of fatal police encounters. Through this work, she has become passionate about reducing anti-Indigenous violence in the United States through better representation in educational spaces and through justice system reform. After graduating, Samantha plans to pursue a JD/MA in American Indian studies in preparation for a career as a policy analyst. To honor her efforts, she has been named a 2022 Udall, BOLD, and Cohen Scholar and a Newman Civic Fellow. 

 

Claire Lee (CLAS ’24) from Glastonbury, CT, is a junior Honors student pursuing a dual degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and political science. She currently works as an undergraduate research assistant for Prof. Scott Wallace of the Department of Journalism, exploring literature that parallels U.S. interventionist policies and practices in Central America of the late 20th century to the present. Previously, she researched the former Brazilian administration’s environmental policies and human rights violations involving the Amazon and indigenous communities. Claire works as an intern for UConn’s Office of Sustainability, championing the university’s sustainability goals and coordinating initiatives in collaboration with other stakeholders across campus. Stemming from this involvement, and paired with her coursework interests, Claire founded the university’s first student-run environmental symposium, Ecoposium, last fall to cultivate a space for open, diverse discussions and to promote environmental literacy within the university body. Beyond school, Claire enjoys cooking, staying active, and listening to a variety of music. After graduation, she plans to obtain a J.D. and pursue a career in environmental law. 

 

 

To learn more about the Udall and other nationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships and click “Talk to an Advisor.”

 

Meet UConn’s 2023 Beinecke Scholarship Nominee

Photo of UConn Beinecke Scholarship Nominee Katherine Jimenez
Junior Katherine Jimenez is UConn’s first recipient of the Beinecke Scholarship

 

The Beinecke Scholarship was established in 1971 to provide substantial scholarships for the graduate education of young men and women of exceptional promise. The program seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Since 1975 the program has selected 699 college juniors from 120 different undergraduate institutions for support during graduate study at any accredited university.

Each scholar receives $5,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. There are no geographic restrictions on the use of the scholarship, and recipients are allowed to supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships and research grants. Scholars are encouraged to begin graduated study as soon as possible following graduation from college, and must utilize all of the funding within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.  Participating institutions, including UConn, are allowed to nominate one student per year for the Beinecke.

 

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Katherine Jimenez (CLAS ’24), of Derby, CT, is UConn’s 2023 nominee for the Beinecke Scholarship. She is a junior Honors student studying English and journalism. A 2023 University Scholar and BOLD Women’s Leadership Network Scholar, Katherine is passionate about creative writing and 20th-century literature that is primarily female-driven. For her University Scholar project, she is currently investigating the damaged relationship between mother and daughter through a fictional retelling of her mother’s life in Revolutionary Nicaragua. She writes 10-pages a week for her project under the guidance of Professor Regina Barreca, and serves as a fiction panelist for the Long River Review. During Summer 2023, she will visit Nicaragua to interview women, children, and veterans of the Sandinista Revolution as research for a long-form essay connecting war trauma with the female narratives we see in women’s and Latino-American literature. After graduating, Katherine intends to pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature with a focus on the “mother-in-war” issue in literature. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and buying more books to read.

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To learn more about the Beinecke and other nationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships and click “Talk to an Advisor.”

 

Meet UConn’s 2023 Truman Scholarship Nominees

Photos of UConn's 2023 Truman Scholarship Nominees

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is awarded for graduate study towards careers in public service to approximately 60 students nationally based on their academic achievement, leadership, and public service records. The Truman Scholarship identifies young people at an important inflection point in their development – when they are college juniors – and recognizes and rewards their commitment to devote themselves to public service.  Click here to learn more about the scholarship and about UConn’s campus nomination process.

 

Meet UConn’s 2023 Truman Scholarship Nominees

 

Defne Alpdogan (CLAS ’24) is a junior studying molecular & cell biology, urban & community studies, and Spanish. An intern at Desegregate CT and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), she invests her time in environmental justice and affordable housing practices. Defne dedicates her time to legislative action, specifically looking at the way minority communities are impacted by affordable housing policies. She also has deep interest in the long-lasting impact of redlining on housing and educational attainment in urban centers, specifically Philadelphia. On campus, Defne is a part of Empowering Women in Law, Nutmeg Publishing, Spoon University, and Ecoposium. In her spare time, Defne is an avid runner and cycler. She also enjoys listening to EDM + Latin music, cooking with her friends, analyzing movies, and reading. After graduation, Defne intends to pursue a J.D. with the intention of practicing criminal law.

 

Thomas Bonitz (CLAS ’24), a junior from Cheshire, CT, is an Honors student majoring in geographic information science (GIS) and economics. He is a member of the Environmental Justice Front and Fossil Fuel Free UConn, both of which encourage UConn to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2040. He also advocates for climate action through the St. Peter’s Cheshire Ecojustice Council. Thomas engages in service as a Team Leader of Honors Across State Borders and as a member of English Language Learners and Kids & UConn Bridging Education. He also plays viola in the UConn Symphony Orchestra. As a SHARE Award recipient, he worked with a team headed by Dr. Xiang (Peter) Chen to research food insecurity in Greater Hartford. He is now working with Dr. Carol Atkinson-Palombo to research the impact of commercial-scale solar installations on property prices. He has worked as a Sustainable CT Fellow, Sustainability Intern for Mansfield, CT, and co-creator of a sustainability camp curriculum for Manchester, CT. Thomas plans to pursue a Master’s in GIS and a Ph.D. in Geography, setting him up for a career as a professor, through which he hopes to use his research to inform climate policy decisions and support climate activism.

 

Liam Enea (CAHNR ’24), from Brookfield, CT, is a junior majoring in applied and resource economics. He is the founder of the Clean Energy Society, a student organization dedicated to making New England’s electricity more affordable, clean, and resilient to blackouts. As president, Liam launched a legislative effort to establish a natural gas capacity market in Connecticut based on an op-ed he wrote in the Hartford Courant. In 2022, he helped organize a contest to design the decal on UConn’s only fuel cell, which spread awareness of clean energy technology among students. He is also an undergraduate researcher at Eversource Energy Center, working on the intersection of solar, batteries, and grid resilience during storms. In civic life, Liam serves on his town’s Energy Advisory Board and Youth Commission, a municipal board he established in 2018 that has given dozens of youth the opportunity to create and enact solutions to issues facing them. Professionally, Liam interns at ISO New England and worked for two clean energy non-profits. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a law degree focused on energy and utility regulation. He wants to ease energy costs while advancing the clean energy transition, improving the lives of all ratepayers.

 

Samantha Gove (CLAS ’24), from Granby, CT, is a junior double majoring in human rights and sociology with a minor in psychological sciences. She is a proud member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, works as the Student Coordinator of UConn’s Native American Cultural Programs, and is the President of UConn’s Native American and Indigenous Students Association. In these positions, she has worked to increase representation and resources for Native and Indigenous students as a mentor and an advocate. To do this, she founded a mentorship program for first-year Indigenous students, coordinates a mentorship program for local Native youth, and is spearheading a workshop series on minoritized languages. In addition, Samantha received a SHARE Award to support her research examining Native American victims of fatal police encounters. Through this work, she has become passionate about reducing anti-Indigenous violence in the United States through better representation in educational spaces and through justice system reform. After graduating, Samantha plans to attend law school in preparation for a career as a policy analyst. In recognition of her efforts, she has been named a 2022 Udall, Cohen, and BOLD Scholar and a Newman Civic Fellow.

 

To learn more about this and other nationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships and click “Talk to an Advisor.”

 

Meet UConn’s 2023 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees

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The Goldwater Scholarship awards up to $7,500 to college sophomores and juniors majoring in math, science, engineering, or research psychology (not clinical). Students who are competitive for the award have had significant research experience and have plans for graduate study (aspire to a PhD or MD/PhD) and a career in research.  Students must be nominated by their home institution, and schools are generally allowed to nominate up to four candidates.  Click here to learn more about the scholarship and about UConn’s campus nomination process.

UConn’s 2023 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees: Lisa Liang, Romir Raj, Lyla White, and Neo Lin

UConn’s 2023 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees

 

Lisa Liang (CLAS ’25), from Madison, CT, is a Stamps Scholar majoring in chemistry. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry to conduct research in nucleic acid and drug delivery through nanoparticles while teaching at an academic institution. Lisa’s interest in research was piqued in high school, where she participated in materials science research and witnessed first-hand the impact of scientific investigation on her daily life while visiting a pharmaceutical company’s lab with a club. During the first semester of her freshman year, Lisa joined Prof. Jessica Rouge’s research group studying the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids through nucleic acid nanocapsules (NANs). In the summer of 2022, she participated in the Holster Scholar Program to investigate how to combat hereditary diseases via nanocarrier targeted delivery of therapeutic DNA. Lisa’s current projects expand on this work by focusing on developing nanocapsule structure for optimal delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids to the cytosol and beyond. Outside of the lab, Lisa is passionate about serving her peers as the Vice President of UConn Honors Council and loves volunteering with the Windham Heights Afterschool Tutoring Program. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, running, and hanging out with her friends and family.

 

Neo Lin (CLAS ’25) from Madison, CT, is a sophomore Honors student studying chemistry. He plans on obtaining a Ph.D. in chemistry following graduation. He has been working in Mani Laboratory of the Department of Chemistry since the fall of his freshman year on optically addressable molecular qubits based on organic radical pairs (RPs). The goal of his research project to realize emissive RPs of long enough lifetimes for molecular qubits, using donor-bridge-acceptor (D-B-A) molecular motifs. His first project explored the RP lifetimes and charge transfer emission in D-B-A molecules with “kinked” conjugated bridges. The kink design combined with varied bridge length attempted to decrease electronic couplings to lengthen RP lifetimes and realize significant charge transfer emission. After being awarded the Dr. Charles Waring Scholarship during the summer of 2022, he pursued a second project studying the implementation of a durene bridge and its effects on RP lifetimes. His findings from this project are now being finalized and will soon be submitted for publication. Building off the information gathered from his first two projects, Neo is now pursuing unique D-B-A molecular motifs to achieve the goal. Outside of research, Neo is passionate in traveling and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

 

Romir Raj (ENG ’24) from Glastonbury, CT, is an Honors student majoring in biomedical engineering. He plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in genetics and genomics after completion of his bachelor’s degree to be a practicing physician who performs clinical research. Romir first joined Dr. Mayu Inaba’s Lab at UConn Health, Farmington, which studies chromosomal homolog pairing. To expand upon his research, Romir also joined Dr. Jelena Erceg’s Lab at UConn, Storrs, to investigate homolog pairing in developing Drosophila embryos. In the summer of 2022, Romir received the SURF grant and conducted research in both the Inaba and Erceg Labs, where he further studied and built upon his past research on interchromosomal interactions (mainly homolog pairing). This research experience resulted in two journal publications, in Nature Communications and Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. In his final three semesters, Romir plans to study more about genomic architecture and the possible functional implications of this architecture. Outside of academics, Romir volunteers at Saint Francis Hospital and is a founder of a non-profit organization chapter on campus. He enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends, and running outside.

 

Lyla White, (CLAS ’24) is a STEM Scholar from Newington, CT, majoring in pharmacy studies and minoring in biological sciences. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences to teach at a school of pharmacy and continue investigating the safety of drug therapies and developing safer dosage forms. Lyla became interested in research in 2019 when she performed a systematic review evaluating the validity of claims about CBD topical products. As a Holster Scholar in 2021, Lyla designed and 3D printed personalized drug tablets to simplify the complex drug regimen of diabetes patients. The same year, she published a review to explore FDA oversight of foreign clinical trials. Still committed to improving patient safety, Lyla now studies the effect of different temperatures and humidities on the safety of commercial drug tablets under common, real-world conditions. She hopes to eventually design her own drug tablets to be safer under these conditions. Outside of the lab, Lyla is the vice president of the UConn Climbing Team, the education coordinator for the Honors in STEM student organization, a mentor for Peer Allies Through Honors, and a student liaison for the school of pharmacy curriculum committee. Lyla is also a purple enthusiast!

 

To learn more about these and other nationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships and click “Talk to an Advisor.”

 

Senior Sarah Marze (SFA ’23) is a 2023 Marshall Scholar

 

University of Connecticut undergraduate Sarah Marze ’23 (SFA) has been named a 2023 Marshall Scholar. Marze, who becomes UConn’s sixth Marshall Scholar, is just one of 40 students nationally to earn the prestigious honor this year, and will have the opportunity to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom as part of the program.

Continue reading in UConn Today . . . . 

 

Senior Nidhi Nair (CLAS ’23) is UConn’s First Schwarzman Scholar

University of Connecticut senior Nidhi Nair (CLAS ’23), an Honors student majoring in economics and math-statistics, is UConn’s first Schwarzman Scholar.  She will spend the 2023-24 academic year at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she will pursue a Master’s degree.  The Schwarzman class of 2024 includes 151 Scholars from 36 countries and 121 universities around the world.

Click here to read more in UConn Today . . . .

 

UConn Produces An All-Time High 17 Gilman Scholars

Photo of UConn Students
From left, UConn’s Gilman Scholars Samantha Valle ’24 (CLAS), Marissa White ’25 (CAHNR), Geraldine Uribe ’23 (CLAS), Guerlina Philogne ’24 (CLAS) (BUS), Rose Pacik-Nelson ’23 (CLAS), and Grace Coburn ’23 (CLAS). May 21, 2022. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

UConn has produced  17 Gilman Scholars for the March 2022 application cycle, an all-time high for the University.

The Gilman Scholarship is congressionally funded through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. The funding supports broadening student participation in study abroad programs and encourages travel to diverse locations around the globe, along with intensive language study and internship experiences.

“We are thrilled to see our campus outreach efforts and student advising for the Gilman scholarship result in this level of success,” says Valerie Jenkelunas, Experiential Global Learning (EGL) advisor and community liaison specialist. “We had a total of 21 students apply from UConn, and 17 were chosen for awards between $3,000 and $5,000. This surpasses the statistical average of applicants awarded nationally.”

 

Continue reading on UConn Today . . . .

 

Rising Junior Samantha Gove Named 2022 Udall Scholar

Photo of Udall Scholar Samantha Gove
2023 Udall Scholar Samantha Gove (CLAS ’23) stands outside The Dodd Center for Human Rights on May 5, 2022. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

 

University of Connecticut rising junior Samantha Gove ’24 (CLAS), a sociology and human rights major who has a minor in psychological sciences, has been selected as a 2022 Udall Scholar. The honor is awarded on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment; Tribal public policy or Native health care; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement.

A native of Granby, Gove is the ninth Udall Scholar in UConn history, and the third in the past four years.

She is just one of 55 students nationally to earn the distinction in 2022, from a pool of 382 nominations. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the scholar. Udall scholars will also gather this summer in Arizona for a series of discussions and meetings.

 

Continue reading in UConn Today . . . .

Graduate Student Sarah Luria Receives 2022 P.E.O. Scholar Award

2022 P.E.O. Scholar Sarah R. Luria is a Ph.D. candidate in Neag School of Education’s Educational Psychology program.

 

Sarah R. Luria, a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology, has been selected as one of 100 recipients of the $20,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

This award was established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. Women are chosen based on their high level of academic achievement and their potential for having a positive impact on society. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting higher education for women.

 

Continue reading on UConn Today . . . .

Five Named To Fulbright US Student Program

The program provides grants for individually-designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistantships around the world

 

Five UConn students have been selected as recipients of a grant through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2022-23 academic year. The program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistantships around the world. Students meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.

UConn had 12 semifinalists for the Fulbright Student Program award, which includes the five finalists and one alternate. A total of 20 UConn students completed UConn’s campus application process for the 2022-23 Fulbright round.

 

Continue reading in UConn Today . . . .