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Source: James Hohenbary, 785-532-6904, jimlth@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Jennifer Torline, 785-532-0847, jtorline@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011

K-STATE NOMINATES FOUR STUDENTS FOR GOLDWATER SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION

MANHATTAN -- Four Kansas State University students will compete for 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. The students include: Sterling Braun, Fort Scott; Joshua Ericson, Junction City; Gage Brummer, Prairie Village; and Angela Grommet, Wichita.

The Goldwater Scholarship is a national competition that provides up to $7,500 annually to outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. As many as 300 students will receive the 2011 Goldwater Scholarship, which they can use for educational expenses in their remaining one or two years of undergraduate study. Scholars will be announced in late March.

Each of K-State's nominees is working on undergraduate research projects in various disciplines across campus.

Braun is a sophomore in microbiology. He is working with Alexander Beeser, assistant professor of biology, to determine mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis in certain cancers. Specifically, he is working to determine the gene driving oncogenesis in liposarcomas. He is a member of the K-State chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemical fraternity and has received the Putnam Scholarship and the June Hull Sherrid Division of Biology Scholarship. He also has received a Johnson Center Cancer Research Award and a K-INBRE Semester Scholarship. Braun graduated from Fort Scott High School in 2009 and is the son of Edward and Elizabeth Braun, Fort Scott.

Ericson is a junior in mathematics. He is conducting research with Pietro Poggi-Corradini, professor of mathematics, and looking for ways to use mathematics to accurately describe how biological epidemics can spread in rural settings. Using tools such as probability theory and graph theory, Ericson hopes to find a strategy for preventing such outbreaks from occurring in the future. He is a 2010-2011 K-State department of mathematics I-Center Scholar. His other scholarships include a K-State Transfer Scholarship, a Friends of Mathematics Scholarship and a National SMART Grant. He attended Wichita State University before coming to K-State. Ericson graduated from Junction City High School in 2008 and is the son of Don Ericson and Suzy Lauseng, Junction City.

Brummer is a junior in biochemistry and premedicine. He is researching the underlying causes of keratoconus, an eye disease, under the supervision of Gary Conrad, university distinguished professor of biology. Brummer is looking at the current clinical treatment of the disease to try to make it more effective and less harmful to patients. He also works on developing microfluidic devices for rapid single cell analysis under Christopher Culbertson, associate professor of chemistry. He had an internship in summer 2009 and summer 2010 at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salsbury Cove, Maine. In September 2010 he helped teach a course on renal physiology research techniques to doctors at the laboratory under John Forrest, professor of medicine at Yale University. He also was awarded the best student presentation at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory Student Research Symposium in 2009. He has been a Kansas Institutional Development Awards Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Undergraduate Research Scholar. He also received a June Sherrid Cancer Research Scholarship and Johnson Center Research Scholarship. An Eagle Scout, Brummer graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in 2008 and is the son of John and Amy Brummer, Prairie Village.

Grommet is a sophomore in chemistry. She is performing research for Christer Aakeroy, professor of chemistry, involving diclofenac, a painkiller used to relieve rheumatoid arthritis. She's working to develop a form of the drug that creates long-lasting, instead of instant, pain relief. She is a member of the K-State chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemical fraternity, and has received a Putnam Scholarship and a Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research Award. In fall 2010 she gave a talk at the regional meeting of the American Chemical Society, and she spent summer 2010 participating in K-State's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Grommet graduated from Andover High School in 2009 and is the daughter of Gary and Anne Grommet, Wichita.