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Fourteen students awarded new Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowships

October 10, 2016

Dennis Dean
Dennis Dean

This fall, 14 students started work as Fralin Life Science Institute’s first undergraduate research Fellows as part of a program created by Dennis Dean, director of the Fralin Life Science Institute and the university’s Stroobants Professor of Biotechnology, in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Research.

“The Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship is a brand new, competitive award program that is open to all Virginia Tech undergraduates and has a goal of increasing diversity in research,” said Dean. “Students from underrepresented groups, including, but not limited to, ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, students from low income areas, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students, are strongly encouraged to apply.”

Each Fellow receives $1,000 to conduct research with a Virginia Tech faculty mentor over the course of one academic year. This year’s recipients are:

  • Marissa L. Boccher, of Chesapeake, Virginia, a senior majoring in aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Connor L. Brown, of Salem, Virginia, a junior majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Marcellus J. Creighton, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, a junior majoring in human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Ahmed M. Elnahhas, of Kuwait City, Kuwait, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Jessica E. Fitzpatrick, of Chesapeake, Virginia, a junior majoring in wildlife conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Saalehah U. Habeebah, of Centreville, Virginia, a junior majoring in international studies (foreign policy and security) in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Rachel I. Hargrave, of Weddington, North Carolina, a sophomore majoring in creative writing in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Joanna M. Kania, of Blacksburg, Virginia, a senior majoring in animal and poultry sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Haley A. Meade, of Pound, Virginia, a junior majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Magdalina L. Moses, of Falls Church, Virginia, a senior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Hannah D. Parker, of Emporia, Virginia, a senior majoring in animal and poultry sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Andrew M. Pregnall of Annandale, Virginia, a junior majoring in microbiology in the College of Science
  • Amina Rahimi of Burke, Virginia, a senior majoring in biochemistry and microbiology in the College of Science
  • Dalia H. Rakha, of Blacksburg, Virginia, a senior majoring in biological systems engineering in the College of Engineering

“We are really pleased with this inaugural group of Fellows,” said Keri Swaby, coordinator of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “In their applications, these students demonstrated academic excellence and innovative ideas for research. We can’t wait to watch their projects develop throughout the year.”

The fellowships will be available each year for the next decade and will be funded by donations from Dean.

“My interest in starting and sustaining this program was inspired by the wonderful undergraduate research experience I received, which was essential to launching my own career," he said.

 

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