Campus News

Honors student becomes UGA’s fifth Merage Scholar

Honors student Lindel Cecilia Krige, who is graduating in May with bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology, is the fifth consecutive UGA recipient of the Merage Foundation’s American Dream Fellowship.

Krige, who is from Kennesaw, is one of 12 students selected nationally for the award, which provides up to $20,000 over a two-year period to academically exceptional students who are immigrants to the U.S.

“The Merage Fellowships are inspiring because the stories of the recipients are uniquely American,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “I am happy that UGA is helping Lindel fulfill her American dream, and the university community is very proud of her. I know that she will do great work and represent UGA well as she pursues her academic and professional goals.”

The scholarship program, which is administered by the Merage Foundation for the American Dream, was established by Paul and Lilly Merage in 2004 to provide opportunities for awardees in attaining their professional goals and becoming leaders in their fields. UGA is one of 22 partner universities-along with Columbia, MIT, Harvard and NYU-that can nominate up to three candidates per year.

Krige, who emigrated from Johannesburg, South Africa, when she was 10, has spent her time at UGA preparing for a career as a physician and clinical researcher. With interests in infectious diseases and public health, Krige has conducted research in UGA’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases for the past two years.

Using mouse models, Krige is currently studying the effects of malaria at the placental level during pregnancy. Krige’s faculty mentor is Julie Moore, a professor in the department of infectious diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She presented this work-the focus of her Honors thesis-at the 2010 undergraduate research symposium sponsored every spring by the Honors Program’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Krige has spent her summers abroad assisting in HIV/AIDS and diabetes clinics and community hospitals in South Africa, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In summer 2008, she volunteered in the clinical research department of Southeastern Gynecologic Oncology in Atlanta, a physicians group that was studying the effectiveness of the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System in gynecological surgeries. She co-authored a paper on the evaluation.

Since her freshman year, Krige has been involved in leadership roles with UGA H.E.R.O. (Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out), the state’s largest student philanthropic organization dedicated to improving the lives of Georgia’s children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Krige also serves as a mentor for a local teen through the Forever Young Campaign, a UGA student group.

“Lindel has the refreshing career vision of a physician as providing public service, and her strong record of research and service underscores her passion and commitment,” said David S. Williams, director of UGA’s Honors Program and chair of the UGA Merage selection committee. “I am extremely proud of her and am pleased that she is receiving this recognition.”