(Posted April 13, 2018)

Photo: Amber Boring '18 

Photo: Amber Boring '18 

Huntingdon, Pa. – Bekah Ford, a Juniata College junior who studies biology and has earned the College’s genomics certification, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Originally from Souderton, Pennsylvania, Ford was chosen from a field of 1,280 students from hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide.

Goldwater recipients are assessed based on academic merit in math, science and engineering. The scholarship will assist Ford with tuition during the last year of her undergraduate career, during which she will continue her studies in biology.

“I plan to continue my research project on hospital water quality as my senior thesis and I look forward to the possibility of being a published undergraduate researcher,” Ford says.

Ford was inspired to apply for this scholarship by her Regina Lamendella, assistant professor of biology, her family and several friends who are also studying biology.

“They helped me to understand that I was qualified and capable,” Ford says of her supporters. “They not only encouraged to apply, but also helped me through the process of the application.”

“I plan to continue my research project on hospital water quality as my senior thesis and I look forward to the possibility of being a published undergraduate researcher,” Bekah Ford says.

Ford was also supported by several professors in the field who read through drafts of her application essay and wrote recommendation letters to help boost her application.

“I look forward to my future career in the sciences and I am forever grateful to each person who has made it possible for me to get to this point in my academic career,” Ford says.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. According to the Foundation’s website, “By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly-qualified professionals the Nation needs in these critical fields.”

Ford began her research with Lamendella during her first year and has since stayed committed to her passion for research in the fields of microbial ecology and genetics.

Ford is currently studying abroad in New Zealand, but when on campus, her activities extend outside of the lab. She is a campus tour guide, concert choir member, Student Alumni Association member and president of the American Society for Microbiology student organization.

 

--Written by Isabella Bennett ’20--

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.