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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, April 18, 2006

IU Bloomington students chosen for science and humanities awards

April 18, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Six Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate students have received awards totaling $95,000 in the sciences and humanities. The group of students includes two recipients of the Guidant Foundation Scholarships in the Life Sciences, two recipients of the Beckman Scholarships for scientific research and two winners of the Palmer-Brandon Prize for excellence in the humanities.

Here is more information about the scholarship awards.

Guidant Life Sciences Scholarship

Alec Sexton of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Jordan Raynor of Seymour, Ind., will receive $10,000 each as winners of the Guidant Foundation Scholarships in the Life Sciences. The awards are given to high-merit students who are seeking degrees in the life sciences and intend to pursue careers in the healthcare industry.

Sexton is a junior majoring in biology and French with a minor in chemistry. He is a member of the IU Science, Technology and Research Scholars Program (IU STARS) and is currently studying abroad in France. A graduate of Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, he has conducted research in Professor Joseph Farley's psychological and brain sciences laboratory at IUB. Sexton is an avid wilderness hiker and loves international travel. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in biology and continue his biomedical research.

Raynor, a graduate of Seymour High School, is a junior working toward a bachelor of science degree in psychology, with a certificate in neuroscience and minors in biology and religious studies. He also conducts research in Farley's laboratory. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience and hopes to include research and teaching in his career. He is an enthusiastic gardener and said that his early gardening experiences sparked the desire to understand how things work in nature.

Indianapolis-based Guidant is a world leader in the design and development of cardiovascular medical products. Guidant was incorporated in 1994 and has since grown to $3.6 billion in revenue and more than 12,000 employees. It established the Guidant Foundation in 1995 to support communities where it has employees and charitable and educational programs that fulfill its philanthropic mission. This is the second year that the Guidant Foundation has funded scholarships for students in the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

Beckman Scholars Award

The College of Arts and Sciences received support from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for a total of six Beckman Scholarships, to be awarded in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The scholarships are among the most highly sought-after undergraduate research awards in the nation.

The 2006 Beckman Scholars are Charles Haitjema of Bloomington and Aaron DeLoughery of New Castle, Ind. Each scholar will receive a total of $17,600 to support two semesters plus two summers of scientific research.

Haitjema graduated from Bloomington High School South and joined the IU STARS program as a freshman at IUB. He is a junior majoring in microbiology and works in the laboratory of Professor Clay Fuqua. His Beckman-funded research will focus on the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

DeLoughery, a graduate of New Castle High School, is a freshman majoring in biochemistry with a minor in mathematics. His research mentor is Professor of Biology Yves Brun. His Beckman-funded research will focus on a regulatory bacterial protein that coordinates many functions related to bacterial adhesion to surfaces.

Palmer-Brandon Prize

Kristin Michelle Smith, a graduate of Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, and Zachariah Overley of Zionsville, Ind., have been selected as winners of the 2006 Palmer-Brandon Prize competition. The prize is given annually to outstanding full-time students who are majoring in the humanities.

Kristin Michelle Smith

Kristin Michelle Smith

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Smith is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio art--photography and a bachelor of arts degree with majors in history and French and a minor in art history. She spent the 2003-04 academic year at the IU Study Abroad program in Aix-en-Provence, France. She plans to continue studying and producing art, and hopes to earn a master of fine arts degree in photography or a master's degree in conservation.

Overley, a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, is a junior with majors in Spanish, anthropology and Portuguese, and a certificate in Latin American studies. He is currently studying abroad in Santiago de Chile. Following graduation from IU, Overley plans to pursue a graduate degree in anthropology.

Zachariah Overley

Zachariah Overley

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The Palmer-Brandon Prize is named for the late Ralph Graham Palmer of Washington, Ind., and his wife, the late Barbara Brandon Palmer. Both husband and wife were IU alumni. Each student will receive $20,000 to be used for further educational experiences. The award was made possible by a gift made to the College of Arts and Sciences in the 1980s.