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Auburn Honors College and CMB Graduate Earns Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

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Mary Catherine Anderson

Mary Catherine Anderson, a 2014 Honors College and Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology (CMB) graduate of Auburn University, has been awarded a Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship that will be applied towards her first year of graduate study at Cambridge University.

Among her many awards and achievements, Anderson was the recipient of the 2014 Women of Distinction Undergraduate Student Leadership Award; the 2014 Comer Medal (Biological Sciences) in the College of Sciences and Mathematics; and was a 2014 finalist for the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship.

Anderson participated in Vanderbilt University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Pharmacology where she researched neuregulin modulation of NMDA receptors and various signaling pathways in adult rat cardiac muscle cells. Neuregulin is a protein that has been shown to have diverse functions in the development of the nervous system and play multiple essential roles including cardiac development. Anderson’s research will be used as a model for the proteins’ effect on the adult human cardiac muscle cell.

Outside of the classroom and lab, Anderson volunteers at Magnolia Place Assisted Living Home where she performs monthly musical ensembles, and assists with Bonaparte’s Retreat, an animal rescue in Nashville, Tennessee.

Anderson will attend Cambridge University in the fall where she will pursue a master in philosophy in biological anthropology.

Each year, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi awards fifty-one Fellowships of $5,000 each to members entering the first year of graduate or professional study. Each active Phi Kappa Phi chapter may select one candidate from among its local applicants to compete for the Society-wide awards. Mary-Catherine follows Honors College graduates Paul Bergen (AU ’12) and Dan Mazzaferro (AU ’11) who also received a Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship.

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Students Awarded NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship

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(Left) Spencer Kerns (Right) Tofey Leon

Recent Honors College graduate Spencer Kerns and current  student Tofey Leon have been awarded the NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.

A double major in Chemistry and Spanish, Spencer Kerns conducted his honors thesis under the direction of Associate Professor Anne Gorden.  A Rhodes Scholarship nominee in District VII – Birmingham, Kerns will be attending The University of Texas Austin to pursue a doctorate in chemistry this fall.

Tofey Leon is a senior biomedical sciences major (pre-medicine) who is writing his  thesis under the direction of Associate Professor Mike Squillacote.  Leon was recently recognized as the Top Male Scholar Athlete of the Year at the Athletic Awards Banquet (AUSPYS), and was Auburn’s male student-athlete nominee for the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Award for 2014 (winners to be announced later this month).  Leon will be applying for the Rhodes, Marshall, and Gates-Cambridge Scholarships this fall.

Honors College alumni who have received this honor include Kyle Owens (AU ’13), Stuart Ferguson (AU  ’13), Dan Mazzaferro (AU ’12), Katy Frierson (AU ’12), and Erica Meissner (AU ’11).

The NCAA scholarship committee selects 29 women and 29 men each season for the $7,500 honor. Created in 1964, the NCAA postgraduate scholarships promote and encourage academic excellence in education by rewarding the NCAA’s most accomplished student-athletes.

Please join us in congratulating these outstanding student athletes.

War Eagle!

Featuring stories from the Honors College at Auburn University

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