Oberlin College’s long-standing belief in the importance of student-faculty research dates back to the 1880s, when Professor Frank F. Jewett took student Charles Martin Hall under his wing. Hall graduated and shortly thereafter discovered the inexpensive process for extracting aluminum from its ore shortly after graduation.
Now, with funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, four Oberlin students will be able to carry on this tradition through sustained, in-depth research projects monitored by faculty mentors from the College’s biology, chemistry and neuroscience departments.
“The Beckman Scholars Program enables students to have intense, one-on-one interactions with notable faculty researchers,” says Associate Professor of Neuroscience Lynne Bianchi, who has been named a faculty mentor. “This complements Oberlin’s philosophy of providing exceptional research experiences to undergraduate students.”
Oberlin College is one of 13 U.S. colleges and universities, including Amherst College and Carnegie Mellon University, to receive funding for four Beckman Scholars. Each scholar will be paid to carry out full-time research with a faculty mentor over the course of two summers and part-time research during one academic year, as well as to present their research at the annual Beckman Conference. The scholarships also include funds for research expenses and student travel to scientific meetings.
“This is the first time Oberlin has received a Beckman scholarship,” Bianchi says. “The quality of our faculty scientists and their willingness to include students in their research helped earn us this award.”
The Beckman Scholars Program is intended to significantly advance the education, research training, and personal development of students who have the potential to achieve distinction in their academic fields. It is open to sophomores or juniors in good academic standing who are majoring or intend to major in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or neuroscience.