Four UCSD Students Selected as Beckman Scholars

APRIL 26, 2000
Media Contact: Kim McDonald (858) 534-7572
Denine Hagen (Engineering) (858) 534-2920

Four outstanding undergraduate students at the University of California, San Diego have been selected to receive prestigious awards from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation that will allow them to participate in prolonged academic research projects with UCSD faculty members in the sciences.

The UCSD students are among 71 undergraduate students from 18 institutions nationwide who were named as Beckman Scholars for the 2000-2001 academic year. Each will receive $11,000 for two ten-week long summers of full-time research, beginning this summer, and $3,600 for up to ten hours per week of research during the intervening academic year.

The UCSD students, all of whom will be juniors this fall, their majors and the faculty members they plan to work with are:

Megan Bowers of Davis, CA; molecular biology; working with Ethan Bier, professor of biology.

Judy Hwang of Fontana, CA; chemistry and biochemistry; working with Yitzhak Tor, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Stephen Waldo of Arcadia, CA; bioengineering; working with Geert Schmid-Schoenbein, professor of bioengineering.

Aaron Wang of Cupertino, CA; bioengineering; working with Robert Sah, associate professor of bioengineering.

The Beckman Scholars Awards to these students are designed to help stimulate, encourage and support exceptionally talented undergraduates in prolonged academic research projects in chemistry, biochemistry, or the biological or medical sciences.

"One of the unique features of the Beckman program at UCSD is that it will promote close interactions between all of the student scholars and their mentors, who are from the different disciplines of bioengineering, biology and chemistry/biochemistry," said Sah. "This will provide the students with a chance to not only discuss their work with each other, but also learn about research in fields outside of their direct field of study."

He said the highly competitive nature of the selection probably makes this undergraduate research award the most prestigious at UCSD. The winners were selected on the basis of their research proposals, letters of recommendation, and academic records.

The university also had to compete in a rigorous process against 797 other institutions across the country for the chance to allow its students to compete for the prestigious research awards. The successful proposal was prepared by a faculty committee that included Sah and representatives from the biology, chemistry/biochemistry and bioengineering departments.