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K-State Today

May 14, 2019

Division of Biology undergraduates recognized for outstanding achievements

Submitted by Eve McCulloch

Each year, the Division of Biology honors select undergraduate students majoring in biology, microbiology, and fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology for their outstanding achievements. This year's awardees and their guests were recognized at a luncheon on May 4. 

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, research and/or extracurricular activities. The award was created by biology faculty in 1975 and has been awarded for 44 consecutive years. It is entirely funded by faculty. 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. 

This year, 10 students received the Most Promising Student Award: Quinton Elliott, senior, Great Bend; Del'Sha Roberts, senior, Kansas City; Adeline Chang, senior, Olathe; Hunter Hiegert, junior, and Lauren West, sophomore, both from Topeka; Alexandria Bontrager, senior, Whiting; Hannah Coggeshall, junior, and Alex Hydock, senior, both from Wichita; Megan Campbell, junior, Luther, Oklahoma; and Kate Kim, senior, South Korea.

Each of these students has an impressive record of academic excellence and extracurricular involvement, such as experience in research laboratories, dual majors, leadership activities at K-State and beyond, and involvement in Peer Advocates for Wellness and Success, or PAWS; Black Student Union; Student Senate; and more. Among them, they have won multiple scholarships and awards, including the Putnam Scholarship; June Hull Sherrid Scholarship; Kansas Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, or K-INBRE, Research Scholarship; Johnson Cancer Research Award; Scholar in Rural Health; and the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Award. 

The H.H. Haymaker Award for Excellence, also now in its 44th 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 demonstrated a high level of accomplishment as an undergraduate, and who has 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. 

This year, two outstanding graduating seniors were recipients of the H.H. Haymaker Award for Excellence, Hallie Lucas and Fawwaz Naeem. Lucas is pursuing a major in biology, secondary major in natural resources and environmental sciences, and a minor in economics. Having a breadth of research experience through the Division of Biology and the departments of economics and English, Lucas has presented at both local and regional conferences. She has been an active ambassador for K-State through leading the Student Alumni Board and serving as a campus resource for international students, while also being involved in service activities in the community. She has received numerous academic awards, including that of Rhodes Scholar nominee. Postgraduation, Lucas plans to attend Stanford University to gain her master's degree in international policy. Naeem, senior in biology and pre-medicine, has also been involved in research throughout his undergraduate career. He has presented his work at several conferences, including the national Drosophila conference in Dallas. In addition to research, Naeem has been involved in numerous service and mentoring activities both on campus and in the community through leadership in the Pre-Health Ambassador Club, tutoring at the Academic Achievement Center and guiding incoming biology students through orientation and enrollment. He has received numerous awards for his academic achievements and for research, including the K-INBRE Award. Postgraduation, Naeem plans to attend Ohio State University to pursue a doctorate in biochemistry. 

We are very proud of these excellent students.