News

May 6, 2008

Meredith White ’06 Receives National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Lafayette is one of four exclusively undergraduate liberal arts and engineering colleges among the 108 institutions whose students were honored

Meredith White ’06 was recently awarded the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Run by the Department of Defense, the fellowship program is committed to increasing the number and quality of the nation’s scientists and engineers.

Lafayette is one of four exclusively undergraduate liberal arts and engineering colleges among the 108 institutions whose students were honored. White also received an honorable mention for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

The three-year NDSEG fellowship, sponsored specifically by the Office of Navel Research, includes full tuition to any U.S. graduate school and a stipend of over $30,000 for each year.

White, who graduated with a B.S. degree in biochemistry, is currently enrolled in the joint graduate program through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (MIT/WHOI), with a focus on biological oceanography. She plans on becoming a marine biologist.

“I picked Lafayette because I love science, but I also enjoy the liberal arts,” she says. “My education at Lafayette has really prepared me well for graduate school.”

White’s proposed oceanographic research examines the forced movement of benthic organisms (those that live on the lowest level of a body of water), and what factors allow some species to thrive in new areas, but discourage others.

White’s success reflects Lafayette’s focus on undergraduate research and close student-faculty interaction.

She performed EXCEL research examining snails infected with parasites with Bernard Fried, Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology; Joseph Sherma, Larkin Professor Emeritus of Chemistry; and Michael Chejlava, the chemistry department’s instrumentation specialist. She coauthored an article with Sherma and Fried based on this research which appeared in the Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies (2006), and the Journal of Parasitology (2007).

She also spent a semester in the Lafayette faculty-led program at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, taking courses in chemistry, African culture, and African art history.

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