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K-State Today

May 12, 2017

Division of Biology undergraduates recognized for outstanding achievements

Submitted by Eve S. McCulloch

Each spring, the Division of Biology honors several of its students majoring in biology, microbiology, and fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology for outstanding achievement. The 2017 awardees and their guests were recognized at a luncheon on May 6.

Six students received the 2017 Most Promising Student Award: Christopher Clarkston, junior, Stilwell; Katherine Hwang, sophomore, Manhattan; Jazmine Snow, junior, Olathe; and Trevor Elwell-Cuddy, senior, Kathlyn Gomendoza, senior, and Haley Smalley, junior, all from Wichita.

Each of these students has an impressive record of academic excellence and extracurricular involvement, including one to three years experience in research laboratories. Between them, they have won many scholarships and awards, including the Putnam Scholarship, June Hull Sherrid Scholarship, KS-LSAMP Scholarship, K-INBRE Research Scholarship, Johnson Cancer Research Award, and the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Award.

Clarkston has been accepted into the veterinary scholars early admission program, is an officer in the Microbiology Club, and plays in the K-State Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Brass Ensemble.

Hwang holds an officer position in her sorority and volunteers extensively, particularly with Girl Scouts of America.

Snow has more than 100 hours of experience giving lab tours and presenting her research to members of the community, and is actively involved in several K-State clubs.

Elwell-Cuddy has authored a peer-reviewed publication, worked in multiple labs and is in the honors program.

Gomendoza earned a 2017 Barry M. Goldwater scholarship honorable mention and won an American Society for Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a Developing Scholar Program member and a pre-health and KS-LSAMP ambassador.

Smalley is gifted in lab leadership and actively pursues diverse interests, from the bakery and microbiology clubs, to submitting her writing to literary magazines. 

The Most Promising Student Award is intended to encourage students who are early in their careers and have demonstrated enthusiasm, creativity and imagination in biologically-oriented courses and research. The award was created by biology faculty in 1975 and has been awarded for 42 consecutive years. It is entirely funded by faculty to support excellent students. Students are nominated by the faculty and award recipients are chosen by a committee within the Division of Biology. Selection is based on faculty letters of recommendation, quality and quantity of classroom work and extracurricular accomplishments, and an interview with the selection committee.

Adam J. Schieferecke, senior in microbiology with minors in chemistry, genomics and biotechnology, Bennington, is the 2017 recipient of the H.H. Haymaker Award for Excellence. Schieferecke is completing the bachelor's portion of a joint Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in microbiology, and will complete the accelerated master's portion at K-State in 2018. Schieferecke has extensive research experience, has published in peer-reviewed journals, and presented his research at local and national conferences, for which he has won several awards. He is involved in the K-State and statewide community, and is an advocate for science education in settings from high schools to the Kansas State Capitol. In addition to his many accomplishments at K-State, Schieferecke is a national Barry Goldwater Scholarship winner, and was recently nominated by K-State for the 2017 Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

The H.H. Haymaker Award for Excellence, also now in its 42nd consecutive year, was named in honor of Herbert Henley Haymaker, a K-State alumnus and faculty member, and is given to a graduating senior who has both a high level of accomplishment as an undergraduate and the promise to continue such quality performance in a biological sciences-related career. Nomination and selection criteria are the same as for the Most Promising Student Award.

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