Traveling with Grace

Since many of you are traveling during your summer break we thought you might enjoy meeting one of our most recent graduates and traveling connoisseur Anna Grace.  She’s *graced* the plains of Spain and most of Europe, as well as jungles and mountains of Costa Rica.  Anna Grace was able to do all this through Auburn University’s Study Abroad program and used her experiences to write her Honors thesis on “Attitudes of Bilingualism in Madrid.”  Read more on her blog.

Three Auburn University students named Goldwater Scholars

Auburn University Honors College juniors Sara Head, Jennifer Kaczmarek and Natasha Narayanan have been chosen as 2016 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars, an honor bestowed to only 252 students nationwide this year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Both Head and Kaczmarek are chemical engineering majors in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. They are undergraduate researchers on a team led by Elizabeth Lipke, the Mary and John H. Sanders Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Narayanan, a double major in biochemistry and Spanish in the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the College of Liberal Arts, respectively, has conducted two undergraduate research projects, both under the direction of Bradley Merner, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Read more about Sara’s, Jennifer’s and Natasha’s individual projects, read the entire article on the Auburn University site.

 

 

Catherine Tabor Receives Fulbright Scholarship

Catherine Tabor, from Centerville, Alabama, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to Austria.

Ms. Tabor, a senior in the Honors College majoring in English literature and German, with minors in community and civic engagement, in addition to psychology will spend the next academic year in Vienna, Austria as a Fulbright Scholar.

Photo 2While in Vienna, Ms. Tabor will spend her time as an English teaching assistant at a local middle school as well as pursuing graduate course work in sociology at The University of Vienna. As part of her unique Fulbright experience, Ms. Tabor will also work with Caritas Catholic Charity assisting children and youth who suffer from seen and unseen disabilities.  Born with a physical disability, Ms. Tabor’s personal experiences have developed into a passion for the welfare of disabled people, especially children.

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“People with disabilities are not often given enough credit for what they can achieve. However, I know they are capable of more; all they need is love, encouragement, opportunity, and perspective. My experiences and compassion have made me a resilient and persistent person, who can adapt, value new experiences, be vulnerable enough to make mistakes and learn from them, and see things from varying perspectives. These traits will help me make the world a better place for people struggling with mental and physical challenges, which I strive to do as part of my Fulbright experience.”

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Outside of her work, teaching, and classroom obligations, Ms. Tabor has been extended an invitation to sing with a community-based choir in Vienna – the Brunnenchor.

Among her many activities and awards Ms. Tabor is a volunteer with Lee County (AL) Autism Resource & Advocacy, an Honors Freshman Exploration Peer Instructor, an associate justice on the SGA Judicial Board, the publicity chair for Honors Congress, a certified facilitator of Sustained Dialogue, a 2015 Gilman Scholar, and a coxswain for Auburn Rowing.

When she returns from abroad, Catherine will enroll in law school.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Joshua Passantino Nominated for Udall

Honors College junior Joshua Passantino has been nominated for the prestigious Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Scholarship for Excellence in National Environmental Policy. The Udall Scholarship was established to provide scholarships to outstanding students who demonstrate leadership, public service, and a commitment to environmental issues.

Joshua_SmallJoshua, from Morris, Alabama, is currently a triple major pursuing degrees in Biosystems Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Spanish. Since the fall of 2013, he has pursued undergraduate research in chemical engineering using cellulose nanocrystals – a natural high strength material found in all biomass – to make high-strength films and fibers. Under the direction of Dr. Virginia Davis in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Joshua’s research is focused on mitigating brittleness in films produced from aqueous dispersions of sulfonated cellulose nanocrystals, without negating the benefits of producing the films from high concentration dispersions that exhibit liquid crystal phase behavior.

Among his many awards and honors, he was a summer 2015 undergraduate research fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado; president of the Auburn University Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders – USA; vice-president of the Environmental Awareness Club; Supplemental Instructor (SI) in the Office of Undergraduate Studies; IMPACT Volunteer; and certified chemical and bacterial tester for Alabama Water Watch.

Congratulations, Joshua, and best of luck!

Mizna Kanafani Nominated for Udall

Honors College junior Mizna Kanafani has been nominated for the prestigious Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Scholarship for Excellence in National Environmental Policy. The Udall Scholarship was established to provide scholarships to outstanding students who demonstrate leadership, public service, and a commitment to environmental issues.

Mizna_Small_2
Udall nominee Mizna Kanafani sits in the Auburn arboretum

Mizna, a Birmingham native, is a junior in Environmental Science. Since enrolling at Auburn in the fall of 2013, she has been involved in number of campus-wide activities including: Director of Freshman Forum – a highly competitive freshman leadership program designed to promote campus leadership in freshmen through individual development as well as team building; College of Agriculture Senator; Director of Auxiliary Services with the SGA Cabinet; Camp War Eagle Counselor; Vice President of Alpha Chi Omega; Sustainability for The Challenge; and Tiger Splasher for Auburn Swimming and Diving.

In her role as the College of Agriculture representative to the SGA Senate, Mizna championed a resolution recommending the implementation of composting on campus. Working with her fellow senators, the SGA leadership as well as campus partners such as Dining, Auxiliary Services, Facilities, Waste Management, and the Office of Sustainability, she was able to secure its passage winning unanimous approval.

In addition to her extensive campus service activities, Mizna was selected to Squires, Omicron Delta Kappa, College of Agriculture Deans List, and she was named Alpha Chi Omega’s “Most Outstanding Sophomore.”

Congratulations and good luck Mizna!

Elizabeth Baxter Nominated for Truman

Auburn University junior Elizabeth Baxter has been nominated for the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. 

Ms. Baxter grew up in a military family and lived on Army posts throughout the U.S. She graduated from Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama and is currently is pursuing a double major in Economics and Political Science at Auburn University. For the past two summers Ms. Baxter has participated in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Honors Internship Program and upon graduation, Elizabeth plans to pursue a career as a special agent in counterterrorism with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Elizabeth Baxter
Elizabeth Baxter

Among her many activities and honors, she serves as the director of Student Interests on the College of Liberal Arts Student Council; president of the Economics Club; a member of the Student Eminent Society – a select group of Liberal Arts undergraduate students that serve as official hosts and hostesses for CLA events throughout the academic year; and serves as director of Accounting for Auburn Relay for Life.

The Truman Scholarship Program was established to provide scholarships to outstanding students who are committed to a career in public service. Created in 1975 by an act of Congress, The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is awarded to approximately 60 college juniors each year on the basis of four criteria: service on campus and in the community, commitment to a career in public service, communication ability and aptitude to be a “change agent,” and academic talent that would assure acceptance to a first-rate graduate school.

More broadly, Truman Scholars possess intellect, leadership skills, and passion that would make them a likely force for the public good in any field.

Scholars receive an award of $30,000 which will go toward post-graduate education. In addition, Truman Scholars participate in leadership development programs and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the Federal government.

Sarah Pitts Nominated for Truman

Honors College junior Sarah Pitts has been nominated for the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Ms. Pitts, a Birmingham native, is pursuing a double major in English Literature and Spanish with a minor in political science. Since enrolling at Auburn in the fall of 2013, she has pursued undergraduate research in political theory as well as linguistics. Under the direction of Dr. Murray Jardine in the Department of Political Science she completed a study “Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Thought” wherein she synthesized the literature on the 20th century German philosopher examining his work and his course of lectures “An Introduction to Metaphysics” as well as “Nietzsche.”

Sarah Pitts
Sarah Pitts

Among her many activities, awards, and honors; she served as a legislative intern for U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions in the summer of 2015 where she had the opportunity to work on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which was reauthorized in late 2015; she is a member of the Committee of 19 –Auburn’s anti-hunger initiative and participates in Blessings in a Backpack; she is a study partner in the Office of Undergraduate Studies; she is a Women’s B-Cyclist with the Auburn Flyers Club Cycling Team; and she was elected to membership to the national honor society of Phi Kappa Phi last spring.

The Truman Scholarship Program was established to provide scholarships to outstanding students who are committed to a career in public service. Created in 1975 by an act of Congress, The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is awarded to approximately 60 college juniors each year on the basis of four criteria: service on campus and in the community, commitment to a career in public service, communication ability and aptitude to be a “change agent,” and academic talent that would assure acceptance to a first-rate graduate school.

More broadly, Truman Scholars possess intellect, leadership skills, and passion that would make them a likely force for the public good in any field.

Scholars receive an award of $30,000 which will go toward post-graduate education. In addition, Truman Scholars participate in leadership development programs and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the Federal government.

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!

Natasha Narayanan Nominated for Goldwater

Honors College junior Natasha Narayanan has been nominated for the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Ms. Narayanan, an Auburn, Alabama native, is pursuing a double major in Biochemistry and Spanish. Since enrolling at Auburn in the fall of 2013, she has been an active participant in undergraduate research in biochemistry field. Under the direction of Dr. Bradley Merner, in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ms. Narayanan has developed a short, 9-step synthetic sequence to a complex bicyclic nucleoside precursor that will serve as a key intermediate in the synthesis of several, new nucleic acid modifications for antisense technology.Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.46.47 PM

Among her many awards and honors, she was a 2015 Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention; she placed first in the Undergraduate Oral Presentation at the 2014 Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society; she is a 2015-2016 Undergraduate Research Fellow; and a recipient of the 2014 Cellular and Molecular Biosciences (CMB) Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship.

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 Natasha!