UMBC Watch

“UMBC’s emphasis on undergraduate research is one of our most distinctive strengths, helping to prepare students for successful graduate and professional study and ultimately rewarding careers.”

— President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III


UMBC Students Earn Prestigious Science Awards


June 11, 2004–UMBC led every university in the nation in the number of undergraduates receiving the highly competitive Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarships. The three UMBC undergraduates who earned this award were the only winners from the state of Maryland. The Merck award includes two years of summer research internships at a Merck facility and grants to the science departments of recipients’ schools.

In addition, two UMBC juniors are among 310 students nationwide awarded Goldwater Scholarships, which are given to outstanding students in the fields of natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Aliya Frederick is a recipient of the Goldwater and Merck Scholarships. A junior biochemistry/ molecular biology and economics major from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, Frederick has a special interest in neurodegenerative disorders and plans to earn an M.D./Ph.D. This summer, she will work with Nobel laureate Dr. Thomas Cech in Boulder, Colorado.

Kenneth Gibbs, Jr.
is a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship. A junior from Durham, North Carolina, Gibbs is majoring in biochemistry/ molecular biology and plans to earn a Ph.D. in immunology or biochemistry. He has worked in research labs at Stanford, Harvard Medical School and the Johns Hopkins University.

Melissa Blackman is a recipient of the Merck Scholarship. A May 2004 graduate from Washington, DC, Blackman majored in biological sciences. Blackman’s summer internship with Merck will be with Dr. Catherine Thut in Merck’s West Point, Pennsylvania research lab, developing drugs to treat ocular neovascular disease.

Olusegun Williams is a recipient of the Merck Scholarship. A junior biochemistry major from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Williams is currently researching proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. His summer internship with Merck will be in the cancer research lab in West Point, Pennsylvania.


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