Tuskegee student one of 37 UNCF/Merck scholarship and fellowships awardees


FAIRFAX, Va. (July 20, 2011) — Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), recently challenged an audience of black scientists and science students to make sure that as they build their careers, they also reach out to help younger students get the pre-college education they need to study science in college. Lomax spoke at the annual 2011 UNCF/Merck Fellows Day, celebrating the 2011 class of 37 black students and postdoctoral professionals receiving scholarships and fellowships under the UNCF/Merck Science Initiative. A Tuskegee student, Sara Robertson, is among the new class of students awarded scholarships.

"Merck's investment in these promising students and scholars is a major commitment to developing the next generation of researchers, professors, and teachers in biological science and engineering and an investment in longer and better lives for millions of people not only in America but around the world," Lomax said. "Merck Fellows and alumni can invest too, by getting involved to help educate the middle- and high-schoolers of today prepare to become the next generation of African-American science majors and graduate students."

Robertson, a native of Vallejo, Calif., is a junior majoring in animal science. She will receive a scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year. In 2010, Tuskegee University Ph.D. fellow, Jacqueline Jones Triche, was selected to receive the UNCF/Merck Science Initiative Fellowship Award. Triche, a native of Springfield, Mass., is a 2007 graduate of Alabama State University and currently works in the George Washington Carver Lab on the Tuskegee University campus. She is the first Tuskegee University student to receive the UNCF/Merck fellowship.

Now in its 16th year, the UNCF/Merck initiative is a 20-year partnership that has supported over 550 scholarships and fellowships to promising undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral science students pursing careers in biomedical research. The UNCF/Merck scholarships and fellowships provide the future scientists with financial support, hands-on training, close mentoring and networking relationships, and institutional support. Recipients are chosen through a competitive application process that selects candidates based on their academic achievements and potential in the fields of biomedical research and engineering.

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