News - Greenville University Undergrad Researcher Jessie Chappel Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Greenville University Undergrad Researcher Jessie Chappel Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

by Carla Morris Greenville University Undergrad Researcher Jessie Chappel Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Student researcher Jessie Chappel, a junior double majoring in biology and chemistry at Greenville University, has been named recipient of the 2019-20 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The prestigious award goes to undergraduates who show exceptional promise at becoming the next generation of research leaders in the natural sciences, mathematics and/or engineering.

Chappel’s award is valued at $7,500.

1,223 Nominees

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded 496 scholarships for the 2019-20 school year. Chappel was one of 1,223 college sophomores and juniors nominated from an estimated pool of 5,000 potential awardees.

Judges for the Goldwater Scholarship look for students who demonstrated academic merit, a passion for research and “ownership” of research they’ve conducted or helped conduct. They also look for a creative spark that indicates potential leadership in the students’ chosen fields. Nearly all of the awardees indicated they intend to obtain doctorates.

Publication and Presentation Indicate Commitment and Passion

At Greenville University, Chappel participated in ongoing research led by G.U.’s AssistantJessie Chappel Poster Professor of Biology Bwarenaba Kautu. Their work explored the neurophysiological effects of plant chemicals called kavalactones.

  • Last fall, Chappel co-authored an article about their research that appeared in Stanford University’s Journal of Bio-protocol.
  • In January, she presented the research at a conference of the Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association (HCURA).
  • This summer, she will serve as an intern with the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.

A System That Values Young Researchers

Kautu intentionally recruits freshmen to engage in research. He believes they are capable of extraordinary achievements.

“I see so much God-given potential and talent in these young people,” he says. “Yet, this group of people is often overlooked.”

Recruiting younger researchers gives him a longer time to train and influence them. Kautu’s young collaborators have gone on to publish papers, secure significant grant funding for subsequent research, collaborate with leading research institutions and fill internships at leading biotech companies. 

Learn More

Benefits of Undergraduate Research Reach Far Beyond Campus
Briner School Undergraduate Estes Publishes Case Study on Public Relations and Social Responsibility
Publish, Publish, Present, Present—Well Equipped Grad Finds His Stride
University Students Continue Testing Well Water Quality in Southern Illinois

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This story was published on May 08, 2019

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