Three Virginia Tech life sciences students in honorary student development programs were presented with scholarships during a May 7 reception held at the Fralin Life Science Institute.

Kevin Hughes of Las Vegas, a graduate student in biological sciences in the College of Science, received the Stroobants Award for Exemplary Graduate Scholarship in the Post Baccalaureate Research and Education Program. Hughes plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology/Genetics at Yale University.

Shernita Lee of Birmingham, Ala., a graduate student in the genetics, bioinformatics, and computational biology program, received the Stroobants Award for Exemplary Graduate Scholarship in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program. Lee will begin a postdoctoral position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Erica Lee of Chesapeake, Va., a senior majoring in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, received the Fralin Life Science Institute Award for Exemplary Undergraduate Scholarship in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program. She will attend North Carolina State University to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology.

Each student received a commemorative plaque and monetary award provided by the Fralin Life Science Institute.

“This is a special group of talented students," said Dennis Dean, director of the Fralin Life Science Institute, during the event. "We’re delighted to have them at Virginia Tech and very much appreciate the opportunity to honor them on this occasion."

The Virginia Tech Post Baccalaureate Research and Education program, also known as VT PREP, is a 12-month program that seeks to provide individualized mentoring and a supportive learning environment to postbaccalaureate students from historically underrepresented groups interested in pursuing a Ph.D. and a research career in biomedical and behavioral sciences and engineering. 

The Virginia Tech Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program, also known as VT-IMSD, is a 12-month program that uses developmental and experiential learning activities to support doctoral as well as undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups who want to pursue a Ph.D. and a research career in biomedical or behavioral fields in science or engineering.