Two Honors students have been named 2005-06 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars.
Melissa Cabinian, a senior from Conyers majoring in environmental health and microbiology, and Caelin Cubeñas, a junior from Louisville, Ky., majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, are two of 320 students from across the country selected to receive the Goldwater Scholarship.
“I am very pleased with Melissa and Caelin’s accomplishment,” says President Michael F. Adams. “They join an impressive list of UGA students who have shown that they can compete with the very best that America has to offer. The increasing quality of the UGA student body is a source of pride for the entire state.”
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency, and its scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
UGA students have received 26 Goldwater Scholarships in the past 11 years.
“I’m delighted for Melissa and Caelin because they are superb students and delightful people,” says David Williams, director of the Honors Program. “They are truly the cream of the crop at UGA. I’m also pleased that their success touches all points of our program-Honors, CURO and Foundation Fellows-which I think speaks volumes about the kinds of enriching academic opportunities the Honors Program provides.”
Cabinian is conducting research with Rick Tarleton, Distinguished Research Professor in Cellular Biology, at UGA’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. She is studying the mechanisms of immune control in Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Cabinian received the Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology to continue her work in the Tarleton laboratory this summer. She is the undergraduate co-president of the Association for Women in Science at UGA as well as a senior peer adviser for the CURO apprenticeship program.
Cabinian says her participation in CURO helped her find her strong interest in research early in her college career. “I never imagined my simple curiosity and passion for research would open so many doors,” she says. “I am so thankful to all of my amazing research mentors and for the wonderful opportunities at UGA.”
Cubeñas is studying mechanisms of diseases with the intention of developing medical treatments. She was accepted to the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program at Emory University, where she presented her research.
At UGA, she has worked in the cellular biology laboratory of Marcus Fechheimer, professor of cellular biology, and as a CURO apprentice for the past two years. She is also involved with University Union and with several volunteer programs.
“I am truly honored to be a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship,” Cubeñas says. “I know that my success is a reflection of the excellent education and mentoring that I have received here at UGA.”