Life Sciences Students Receive Scholarships to Ensure Future Careers in the Field

Published: October 29, 2013

Life Sciences Students Receive Scholarships to Ensure Future Careers in the Field

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Twenty-two students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi were awarded National Science Foundation Scholarships to Enhance Life Sciences (STELS) for academic year 2013-2014. The scholarship awards totaling $105,000 were distributed.

The National Science Foundation funds the STELS program, which provides scholarships to academically-talented students who demonstrate financial need and are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in life science fields. The goals of the STELS scholarships are to increase the quantity, quality, diversity, and retention of undergraduate students pursuing baccalaureate degrees in life sciences; increase matriculation into graduate school; and increase the quality of students entering the workforce. Each student can receive up to $10,000 in scholarship funds, mentoring, career counseling, and internship opportunities to gain experience in the field.

“The symposiums broaden the students' horizons and offer them glimpses of future careers in science,” said Dr. Suzzette Chopin, Regents Professor of Biomedical Sciences.  “These outcomes are important to both the university and community because we want our students to complete their bachelor degrees and become a contributing member of the scientific workforce.”

The fall 2013 scholarship recipients are:

  • Abigail Johnson: senior Biology major
  • Alyssa Dawson: senior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Christine Jordan: senior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Daniel Kerls: senior Biomedical Sciences/Chemistry major
  • Daniel Martinez: senior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Dustin Smith:  senior Biology/Mechanical Engineering major
  • Erin O’Brien: senior Biology major
  • Christina Rivera: junior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Hannah Lockwood: junior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Hunter Acord: junior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Jessica Williams:  junior Biology major
  • Samantha Valdez:  junior Biology major
  • Susana Villela: junior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Thien Nguyen: junior Biomedical Sciences major
  • Viviana Mancilla: junior Biology major
  • Jeraldo Luna: sophomore Biology major
  • Joseph Olivarez: sophomore Biology major
  • Kaitlin Lindell: sophomore Biomedical Sciences major
  • Kaytlyn Mayberry: sophomore Biomedical Sciences major
  • Nicholas Stansbury: sophomore Biomedical Sciences major
  • Shelbie Phillips: sophomore Biology major
  • Valeria Moreno: sophomore Biomedical Sciences major

During the fall and spring STELS symposiums, students are engaged in critical thinking skills through participation in interactive games, and team work. Each semester prior to the event, the students request certain topics they want to learn about at the symposium. The fall 2013 symposium was organized by STELS students Alyssa Dawson, Christine Jordan, Dustin Smith, and Samantha Valdez. Presentations on graduate school were given by Dr. Harlan Jones and Jessica Brewer from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and Chelsea Brooks from the University of San Antonio.  Dr. Manuela Gardner, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi faculty member, delivered a presentation on her research in alligators. The STELS program is coordinated by Dr. Suzzette Chopin, Principal Investigator of the grant, and Dr. Gregory Buck, Co-Principal Investigator.