Bowdoin Wins Beckman Scholars Award for Scientific Research

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Beckman scholar Sara Spicer ’18 works in the lab of Hadley Horch, associate professor of biology and neuroscience

Students who wish to pursue high-level scientific research at Bowdoin have just received a big boost.

Bowdoin College has once again won a Beckman Scholars Award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. The grant will bring in $104,000 over the next three years to support four student-faculty pairs doing research in the fields of chemistry, biology, neuroscience, and medicine. Bowdoin is one of only 11 colleges across the country to receive the award this year.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation says the purpose of the Beckman Scholars Program is to provide an in-depth, sustained undergraduate research experience for exceptionally talented undergraduates at four-year colleges and universities in the US. Students spend two summers and a full academic year working on a research project with a faculty mentor.

Bowdoin previously won Beckman Scholar Awards in 2005, 2010, and 2014. Seth Ramus, the college’s director of health professions advising who directs the Beckman Scholars Program, explained that Bowdoin has been successful at garnering the award because of the high level of research faculty pursue here, as well as for the “strong mentorship” that professors provide students. In addition, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation looks at how well past Beckman scholars have fared after graduating from college.

“The Beckman scholars are doing extraordinary things,” Ramus said. The eight alumni who were part of the 2005 and 2010 Beckman cohorts have, between them, authored or co-authored 59 papers. All have gone on to graduate or medical school.

Past Bowdoin Beckman Scholars:

Meaghan Kennedy ’06, MD, Dartmouth Medical School (2013), maternal and child health MPH, Boston University School of Public Health (2009). Currently a physician at Concord Hospital.

Rebecca Selden ’06, PhD, ecology, evolution, and marine biology, University of California, Santa Barbara (2015). Current National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellow at Rutgers University.

Chris Cashman ’07, MD-PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (expected completion, 2018)

Sam Minot ’08, PhD, cell and molecular biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2012). Currently a principal scientist at One Codex.

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Beckman scholar Hal Miller ’16

Molly Kwiatkowski ’11, MD/PhD candidate at University of California, San Diego (expected completion, 2021)

Scott Longwell ’12, bioengineering PhD candidate, Stanford University.

Alex Williams ’12, neuroscience PhD candidate, Stanford University

Ketura “Kacey” Berry ’13, completed a two-year Fulbright research appointment at Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Germany. Will be attending medical school next year.

Ian Kline ’15, MD candidate at New York University School of Medicine. Former Fulbright scholar at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat in Germany. Read about Kline’s research at Bowdoin.

Hal Miller ’16, MS in science and religion, enrolled at University of Edinburgh with plans to pursue a PhD in analytical chemistry. Read about Miller’s Keasbey fellowship.

Current Beckman scholars:

Sara Spicer ’18, neuroscience major.

Grace McKenzie-Smith ’17, biology and physics major, Latin minor.

Last summer, current Beckman scholars Sara Spicer and Grace McKenzie-Smith were interviewed while they worked in the labs of their faculty mentors.

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