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Wake Forest receives prestigious Beckman Scholars Award for undergraduate research

microscope.300x175The prestigious Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation will award five outstanding students at Wake Forest University $130,000 to pursue a meaningful undergraduate research opportunity over the next three years.

Established in 1997 by the famed scientific innovator and inventor Arnold O. Beckman, the Beckman Scholars Program provides exceptionally talented scholars at select universities with funding to pursue research and training in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, physics and the biological and medical sciences.

Wake Forest was one of 12 universities selected for this year’s Beckman Scholars Award from a competitive field of applicants.

“A twelve-member advisory panel of distinguished professors made a thorough, collective recommendation to the Foundation’s board of directors of those institutions to receive a 2014 Beckman Scholars Award,” said Jacqueline Dorrance, executive director and CEO of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. “Wake Forest was among those selected for funding. I salute your commitment to quality undergraduate research.”

Rebecca Alexander, chemistry professor and co-director of the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URECA) Center, will chair a selection committee this spring to select the first of Wake Forest’s five Beckman Scholars.

“We will identify freshmen and sophomores who are well-prepared and eager to carry out undergraduate research projects with one of 15 faculty mentors in biology, chemistry or physics,” she said. “They will be excellent students (GPA 3.5 and above) but most importantly have an enthusiasm for research — so thinking beyond the classroom to contributing to the scholarship in their chosen field.”

Once selected, each Beckman Scholar will pursue an independent research project under the auspices of an approved mentor. Each mentor is then responsible for the robust training of the Beckman Scholar, developing each into future leaders of scientific research and innovation.

“The Beckman Scholars Program will further enhance our undergraduates’ preparation for top science graduate programs,” Alexander said.

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