STEM Scholarship Funding

Photo: Marilyn Foote-Hudson (left), executive director of the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, talks with UNC Asheville senior and chemistry researcher Emily Lanier.

As UNC Asheville announced a new $1.5 million grant from the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to support undergraduate research in chemistry and biology, faculty, students and Chancellor Mary K. Grant gathered to thank the foundation.

“The investment in our research programs will continue to lead us into the next generation of undergraduate research here at UNC Asheville,” said Chancellor Grant. “And we are so honored by the confidence that this represents in the work of this institution, and in our faculty and the confidence in the future of our students. … The students we’ll be recruiting will be coming from first-generation households, they’ll be coming from North Carolina, they’ll be coming from fields of research that we need to encourage. … And we can do it because of the generosity and the investment, and the confidence placed in us so much by the board of the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.”

“What we get to do here as an inspired group of students is learn from the best, what it means to be a scientist working on real-world problems,” said senior Emily Lanier. “I worked for three years now on new methods of synthesizing new antibiotics for the next generation of resistant bacterial infections. And less than a month ago, I was able to present my research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, California, alongside graduate and doctoral researchers in my field, which is an incredible opportunity.” Lanier, who puts in 10-15 hours a week into her research, is excited that the grant will enable many more students to have opportunities funded for study and research.

“These stipends will enable the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Scholars to really submerge themselves in science instead of having to job hunt for an off-campus job to support themselves,” said Amanda Wolfe, assistant professor of chemistry. “Additionally the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation grant gives us the unique opportunity to train the next generation of faculty who are passionate about teaching at a liberal arts, primarily undergraduate institution.

“One of the best parts about the UNC Asheville Department of Chemistry is its dedication to research and mentoring. This is one of the things that really drew me to UNC Asheville as a faculty member. Our program requires all of our BS chemistry majors to complete four semesters of hands-on investigative research in emerging fields of chemistry because we believe that the way to learn chemistry is actually to do chemistry in the lab,” said Wolfe.

The Chemistry & Biology Fellows & Scholars Program will fund students for up to four years, including research support for two years and two summers, and three years of conference travel. Students can receive a maximum of $39,000.

For more information, see the news release.