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KECK Fellowship Helps Science Students


This summer was a time for research, knowledge collection, and breakthroughs for several Central Washington University science students. The W.M. Keck Foundation, established in 1954 my William Myron Keck, helped seven young professionals, conduct scientific research on a topic of their choice. The fellowship allowed these students to employ cutting-edge research technologies and provide innovative solutions to scientific questions that they developed in collaboration with faculty mentors.

Hannah Braunstein, who was mentored by Dr. Timothy K. Beng, decided to take a look at the, “Synthetic Applications of a Versitile Lactamoyl Ester”. To most, this sounds like a complicated study, but what Braunstein really wanted to get out of the fellowship, was experience.

“Experience in a wide variety of relevant, current research techniques that I can apply to my future career. In addition, I hope to gain a comprehensive appreciation for the processes of pharmaceutical design and testing.”

Each of the Keck fellows received funding every two weeks, approximately $5,000 in total. Funding for supplies and software were also provided by the Keck Foundation, including training on machines that were new to most students in the program. Along with funding, each Keck fellow received a mentor for the entire duration of their summer research project. On July 11th, 2016, each student presented their preliminary findings and discussed their goals for the rest of the summer. Final presentations were held on August 20th, 2016, allowing the fellows to present their final findings and to wrap up their summer research.

Braunstein felt as if the Keck Fellowship propelled her in the direction of her future goals, allowing her to look forward to after graduation.

“Next spring, after I graduate from CWU, I intend to apply to medical schools with the hope of eventually becoming a practicing physician in Washington State. While I am currently unsure of the area of medicine I would like to practice in, aspects of family medicine and surgery have definitely caught my interest.”

The other Keck fellows, including Naomi Bryant, Lindsay Engels, Juan Flores, Veronica Hernandez, Kiah Jones and Brooks Waite, used the scholarship for similar, cutting-edge research.

Keck was the founder of The Superior Oil Company in the late 1950’s and started the Foundation to benefit and support pioneering discoveries in science, engineering, and medical research. The Keck Foundation is now one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations, with assets of more than one billion dollars. Each of the grant programs invests in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and for generations to come.


 

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