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Genetics Undergraduate Earns Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Connor McKenney, a junior pursuing a major in genetics and minors in statistics and biotechnology, was named one of 240 winners of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship this year.

The prestigious one- and two-year Goldwater Scholarship is distributed by The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which was established by Congress in 1986; it includes up to $7,500 annually in eligible education expenses for college sophomores and juniors currently studying the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering who have potential to conduct research and plan to pursue research careers in those same fields. Students applied for the program through the NC State Fellowship Advising Office.

McKenney is from Raleigh and is part of the University Scholars Program. He intends to obtain a Ph.D. in genomics and conduct research in cancer genomics as a principal investigator of a cancer research organization. He is currently a research assistant with assistant professor of biological sciences David Aylor and doctoral student Sam Widmayer; his additional faculty/research mentors include associate professor and director of the NC State program in genetics Betty Gardner and professor of biological sciences Stephanie Curtis.

In addition to being one of NC State’s Goldwater nominees last year, McKenney was one of six students from NC State to participate in the 2016 DAAD RISE summer research internship in Germany and is also a 2016 recipient of the Fellowship Advising Office Super-curricular SEED Grant.

Evan Brooks, a junior majoring in biological sciences, and Samuel Fedeler, a junior double-majoring in physics and computer science, were among the three NC State students who received honorable mention from the Goldwater Foundation.


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