Cassie LaJeunesse, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor
Junior Sarah Cooper was one of 211 students in the country to be awarded the 2018 Barry Goldwater Scholarship. This scholarship is a prestigious award for undergraduate research in science, engineering and mathematics.
Colleges across the country are asked to nominate one undergraduate researcher to apply for the scholarship. Cooper was nominated because she has worked with Dominic Qualley, associate professor of biochemistry, in his research on the bovine leukemia virus since her sophomore year.
According to Cooper, the application process involved a three-page research paper, essays and letters of recommendation. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Mark Turlington assisted her through the process.
“I kind of knew [the scholarship] was a big deal, but I’m learning that it’s even a bigger deal than I anticipated,” Cooper said. “I’m super excited for Berry to promote that and have younger scientists come here and see how awesome our work program is, and our sciences and our research program, because we’re doing awesome stuff.”
Cooper is excited that the prestige of the award will bring recognition to Berry’s science programs and allow the research to continue.
“Berry is actually giving our lab more funding, which is incredible,” Cooper said. “It’s awesome that Berry has been so supportive and they understand how big of a deal this is for the science community.”
Cooper plans to continue her research throughout the summer and her senior year as her Honors thesis and senior capstone project. She also said that the award will open up a lot of graduate school opportunities for her. This summer, she hopes to start looking at graduate programs in the biochemistry field.