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Undergraduate Research Honored by Beckman Award

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation honored Dartmouth's long-standing commitment to undergraduate scientific research by presenting the College with a Beckman Scholars Program Award. The award, which provides research scholarships to five Dartmouth students over a three-year period, is presented to institutions that foster sustained, in-depth undergraduate research experiences coupled with comprehensive faculty mentoring. Dartmouth, which last received the award for the 2001-2003 cycle, was among only 13 colleges and universities to receive the award for the 2006-2008 cycle.

Disbursement of the award will be overseen by Edward Berger, professor and chair of the biological sciences, and John Winn, professor and chair of chemistry. With help from Margaret Funnell, assistant dean for undergraduate research, Berger and Winn will select between one and three undergraduates each year in either chemistry or biology to receive a total of $19,300 to spend one academic year and two summer terms conducting research in a professional lab. In addition to the funding, each scholarship recipient will be paired with a faculty mentor in his or her field. Recipients will also attend the Beckman Scholars Annual Research Symposium both summers, where they will share their work with other undergraduate researchers.

Berger notes that the award "reflects both the College's historic and current commitment to quality undergraduate research programs in biology and chemistry, and the educational credentials and scholarly accomplishments of its faculty mentors. The biology and chemistry departments are delighted by news of this prestigious award."

Between 1999 and 2003, eight Dartmouth students received Beckman Scholarships and all are currently pursuing graduate work in science. Among those former recipients are Pam Lombardi '01, currently a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in chemistry at Columbia University; Alisa Davis '01, a fifth-year Ph.D candidate in molecular and computational biophysics at Johns Hopkins University; and Omar Amir '04, a first-year graduate student in chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego.

Dartmouth was among 122 institutions invited to apply for the grant, which the Beckman Foundation awards each year to program-related, nonprofit research institutions. This year's other recipients included Amherst College; California State University, Long Beach; Carnegie Mellon University; the College of William and Mary; Duke University; Miami University; New York University; Oberlin College; Smith College; the State University of New York, Stony Brook; the University of Richmond; and Washington University, St. Louis.

By GENEVIEVE HAAS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08