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Our Brilliant Students

By Randall S. Barton on April 06, 2012 03:17 PM

With the flowering of the cherry trees on Eliot Circle comes the notice of the spring crop of student awards and fellowships. We salute the following Reed students for their scholarship, dedication and inventiveness.

Davis Projects for Peace

Two seniors in biochemistry and molecular biology, Gabe Butterfield '12 of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, and Michael Gonzales '12 of Round Rock, Texas, have designed a grassroots project in Nicaragua this summer for Davis Projects for Peace.

They will be working under the supervision of Dr. Clara Gonzalez, a microbiologist at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua in Managua.

Misuse of antibiotics in the developing world is causing bacterial resistance. Doctors in Nicaragua are uncertain whether the drugs they prescribe are curing their patients' diseases or making them worse. Gabe and Michael will test for the presence and strain of two common diarrheal pathogens, shigella and salmonella. Different strains can cause different symptoms and possess different levels of antibiotic resistance. They will then determine the level of antibiotic resistance and the efficacy of antibiotics, sourced both locally and from U.S. suppliers.

As a result of their findings, doctors will be able to more effectively tailor their prescriptions by knowing which antibiotics are worth administering and when resistance has rendered the antibiotics ineffective. Knowledge of which pharmacies are selling quality antibiotics will present them from dispensing antibiotics that are useless and potentially dangerous.

On her 100th birthday in 2007 Kathryn Wasserman Davis committed $1 million for one hundred Projects for Peace. Funded at $10,000 each, each project's objective is to encourage and support youth in creating and trying ideas for building peace.

Environmental Studies Summer Experience Fellowships

Two economics majors from Massachusetts have won Environmental Studies Summer Experience Fellowship awards, accorded by the Environmental Studies Committee and funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Nick Pittman '13 from Cambridge will use the grant to pursue an internship with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to work on recovery projects related to the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene last August.

Molly Rose Case '12 from Sudbury will intern with SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods), a nonprofit organization co-founded by Sasha Kramer '99 that is dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti.

Both students will receive travel expenses and a $3,800 stipend for 10 weeks of

The Udall Scholarship

Portland resident Lillian Karabaic '13 is Reed's first Udall Scholar. Lillian was one of 80 students selected for the scholarship from 585 applicants representing 70 colleges and universities. The scholarship, which provides up to $5,000 for expenses, is open to sophomores and juniors planning to pursue careers related to the environment.

In her application Lillian wrote that she seeks to create a world where it is easy, affordable and safe — and even preferable — to live without a car. She is an advocate for bicycles being a key to creating cities that are livable and healthy.

Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internships

The Udall Foundation has selected sociology major Mary Lindeblad-Fry '13 of Omak, Washington, as one of 12 Native American Congressional Interns for 2012.

Mary is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Eastern Washington. She is from the Sinixt or Arrow Lakes Band, originally from British Columbia.

As a junior she founded the first Native American Student Union in the history of Reed to provide a network of support for Native students.

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency established to provide scholarships for college students intending to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to American Indian students pursuing tribal public policy. Each year 12 students from 12 tribes and 12 universities are chosen as Native American Congressional Interns based on academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to careers in tribal public policy. The 10-week internship places students in Senate and House offices, committees, Cabinet departments and the White House, where they are able to observe government decision-making processes firsthand.

Fulbright Scholarships

Julia Reagan '12, a general literature major from Petaluma, California, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the political dimension of fairy tales in Weimar Germany.

Between the two world wars political activists began writing fairy tales that were distributed in party magazines to attract youth and their families. The tales range from tales of Socialist and Communist utopias to social critiques of current conditions.

During her Fulbright year, Julia will study the Weimar fairy tales, which are archived in Berlin, with a particular interest in their attraction as a medium for political activists of the time.

"In Germany fairy tales have a storied role in the national cultural heritage and have traditionally been an important didactic tool," she says.

Daniel Carranza '12 of Chicago, and Sean O'Grady '12 of Howard Beach, New York, both German majors, received Fulbright teaching assistantships, which allow them to teach English in Germany.

The U.S. student Fulbright program provides recent graduates with opportunities for personal development and international experience. The program operates in more than 140 countries. Nine hundred grants are awarded annually.

NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Physics major Max Gould '12, from Gig Harbor, Washington, has won a 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the world's leading research organizations and home to three Nobel Prize winners.

Open to students with scientific majors, NIST fellowships provide hands-on experience, working elbow to elbow with researchers on cutting edge technology. Max will be paid $5,000 for 11 weeks of work at the NIST lab in Gaithersburg, Maryland.