Sara Head & Jennifer Kaczmarek Nominated for Goldwater

 

Honors College juniors Sara Head and Jennifer Kaczmarek have been nominated for the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Ms. Head, from Auburn, Alabama, and Ms. Kaczmarek, from Tampa, Florida, are pursuing a major in Chemical Engineering and work under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Lipke, associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Here they are seeking to engineer materials to regenerate cardiac tissue. Ms. Head is using a “biomaterial, gelatin methacrylate, for the encapsulation and direct differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into functional 3D cardiac tissues,” while Ms. Kaczmarek is engineering “an accurate ontogenic model through the direct encapsulation of human pluripotent stem cells into a photo-crosslinkable biomaterial.”

Sara Head
Sara Head

Their individual research projects will play a role in better understanding the use of gelatin as a developmental model that is similar in terms of structural and biological properties to the heart. Both have also presented their research findings at the 2015 Biomedical Engineering Sciences Annual Meeting and have recently co-authored a journal article with Dr. Lipke which is currently under review.

Among their many activities and honors, both are members of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineering, Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, as well as Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Ms. Kaczmarek is also a member of the Auburn University Marching Band.

Jennifer Kaczmarek
Jennifer Kaczmarek

The Goldwater Scholarship Program was established to provide scholarships to outstanding students who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses up to a maximum of $7,500 annually for undergraduate tuition, fees, books and housing. In awarding scholarships, the foundation of trustees considers the nominee’s field of study and career objectives along with the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to the field of science or engineering.

Congratulations Sara and Jennifer!

Last modified: February 10, 2016