Miami's 2016-2017 Beckman Scholar, Blake Rason, sits at a desk equipped with a microscope.

Miami receives fourth Beckman Scholars Institutional Award in 2016

Stacey Lowery Bretz is flanked by University President David Hodge and Provost Phyllis Callahan. Bretz holds a plaque commemorating her being named a University Distinguished Professor.
University Distinguished Professor Stacey Lowery Bretz (center) is one of 16 Miami University faculty named as Beckman Scholar mentors.

Miami University is one of 12 institutions nationwide to receive the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation’s 2016 Beckman Scholars Program Institutional Award.

The $130,000 award supports undergraduate research and faculty mentoring for select students in chemistry, biochemistry and the biological sciences. Five students will be selected over three years as Beckman Scholars. They will receive $19,300 scholarships to work with Miami faculty members on research that extends over two summers and part time during the intervening academic year.

beckman-logoThis is Miami’s fourth Beckman Scholars Program Institutional Award — the others were received for 2003-2005, 2006-2008 and 2010-2012.

Michael Crowder, chair and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, said, “The Beckman Scholarship Program Institutional Award has become a very competitive award with a success rate of 8-10 percent. We are very fortunate to have received four of these awards, and Miami is one of only a few schools to have won the award four times.”

“This success is a testament to the commitment that Miami faculty place on training and working with undergraduate students and to the quality of our students,” Crowder said. He was mentor to one of Miami’s first Beckman Scholars, Megan Matthews, and has since mentored four others.

The Beckman Scholars Program is unique in terms of program scope, content and level of scholarship awards, according to the Beckman Foundation.

Miami’s 2016-2017 Beckman Scholar is Blake Rasor, a junior biology and microbiology double major and molecular biology and bioinformatics double minor. He is working with Michael Robinson, professor of biology, on research involving retina regeneration using mouse embryonic stem cells. Rasor is also a 2016 Goldwater Scholar.

Students selected for the Beckman Scholarship work with one of Miami’s Beckman Scholar mentors:

Department of Biology:

  • Katia Del Rio-Tsonis
  • Michael Robinson

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry:

  • Michael Crowder
  • Carole Dabney Smith
  • Ann Hagerman
  • Scott Hartley
  • Gary Lorigan
  • Stacey Lowery Bretz
  • Mike Kennedy
  • Dominik Konkolewicz
  • Richard Page
  • Dave Tierney
  • Hong Wang
  • Ellen Yezierski

Department of Microbiology:

  • Luis Actis
  • Mitchell Balish

This item originally appeared as a “Top Story” on Miami University’s News and Events website.

Photo of Black Rasor by Jeff Sabo, Miami University Photo Services. Photo of David Hodge, Stacey Lowery Bretz, and Phyllis Callahan by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.

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