2015 Scholarships awarded to SISH undergraduates

The Zaida C. Morales-Martínez and Howard E. Moore Chemistry Award

The Zaida C. Morales-Martínez and Howard E. Moore Chemistry Award is presented by the Florida International University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Chemistry majors who will be entering their junior or senior year in the Fall 2015 semester and who have not previously won the award are eligible for the 2014-15 award.

This year's awardees are:

Jimmy Huang
Jimmy Huang is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He was a Learning Assistant for CHM 1046 during the 2013-2014 school year. During the 2014-2015 school year he has been working as a teaching assistant. Recently Jimmy started work in Dr. Moon’s chemistry lab where he is doing research on organic synthesis of polymers that will ultimately be used for drug delivery. He also volunteers at Miami’s Children's Hospital in the pharmacy department helping out the pharmacist and delivering medicine to patients. Jimmy is working towards getting his pharmacy tech license and after graduation, hopes to begin pharmacy school.

Keenan Mintz
Keenan Mintz is a senior majoring in chemistry at FIU. During the spring 2013 and fall 2013 semesters, he worked as a Learning Assistant for general chemistry classes. In the spring of 2014 he become a Teaching Assistant in a general chemistry lab. Keenan was also involved in the BBC Science Club. During the 2013-2014 school year he was elected to be the historian for the club. Some of his academic accomplishments include being on the Dean’s List in spring 2011, fall 2011, spring 2012, fall 2012, and fall 2013. Another achievement is that Keenan is part of the Golden Key Honor Society. In the summer and fall of 2014 he conducted research in a project geared toward the removal of Ochratoxin A from beverages. In his spare time, Keenan volunteers in a tutoring program in his community.

Jocelyn Nardo
Jocelyn Nardo is currently pursuing a BS in chemistry, as well as a certification in Public & Professional Writing. She is a Cuban-American student from Pembroke Pines, Florida. After graduation, Jocelyn plans to pursue either a Ph.D. or Ed.D which is an education doctorate in chemistry. She hopes to one day be an advocate in reforming the modern education system.

During her time as a student, Jocelyn was a Learning Assistant for Dr. Graves, Dr. Swamy, and Dr. Lichter. Currently, she participates in a new initiative called the Academic Success Plan. This initiative works to help chemistry majors succeed in their studies. Outside of academics, she likes to relax by watching YouTube videos and going to the gym.

Robert Joseph Wood
Robert Wood is from Miami and is currently a double major in Chemistry B.A. and Psychology at FIU. He has been a Learning Assistant for General Chemistry since Spring 2013 and a Teaching Assistant for General Chemistry labs since Fall 2013, working with to Dr. Uma Swamy, Dr. Palmer Graves and Dr. Joseph Lichter. He also helps Dr. Sandra Stojanovic as a weekly organic chemistry tutor for her class, and has served as a Learning Assistant for her Organic I class. Robert is a member of Dr. Joong Ho Moon’s research lab as an undergraduate research assistant working on synthetic organic chemistry of biodegradable conjugated fluorescent polymers for multiple uses.

Robert works with various student organizations. He is an active member of the Chemistry Club and serves as an Outreach Coordinator. In this position, he has developed a student led program, overseen by Dr. Moon and Dr. Swamy, called the University Experience Program (UEP). This program invites local high school chemistry classes to experience a day in the life of a chemistry student. The program launched in Spring 2015 and has hosted six high schools to date. He is also one of the leaders in forming a partnership with Medlife Club in an effort to link medicine and chemistry as well as leading efforts for new philanthropic partnerships with underrepresented causes. Robert has won a South Florida American Chemical Society (SOFLACS) travel award for the national meeting in Denver, Colorado, and will represent the ACS-FIU student chapter.

Marco Eduardo Zamora Bulla
Marco Zamora is currently a Learning Assistant for General Chemistry I. He has been doing this now for the past four semesters alternating between General Chemistry I and II in the Fall and Spring terms respectively. He is also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Honors College at FIU, and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. An active member of both the Chemistry Club and the Biomedical Engineering Society, he hopes to take leadership roles in both organizations in the following year. Recently, he traveled with the Chemistry Club to Denver, Colorado, for the 249th ACS National Convention where the Chemistry Club won the Commendable Award.

He works in Dr. Yuan Liu’s Oxidative DNA Damage and Repair Lab which focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which Base Excision Repair, BER, works and how it factors into genetic or epigenetic stability as tantamount to understanding the creation and progression of cancer and other diseases. Upon graduation, Marco hopes to go to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in tissue engineering with a focus on regenerative medicine.

The Southern Cross Astronomical Scholarship

The Southern Cross Astronomical Society’s mission is to improve the awareness, understanding and enjoyment of astronomy. The society is dedicated to making astronomy available to the public by encouraging research, providing telescope observing and educating through lectures and presentations. The Society is dedicated to providing financial support to students at FIU. Recipients of this award are required to major in Physics and minor in Astronomy. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.

This year's awardee is:

Daniel Jesus Puentes
Daniel Puentes is a junior pursuing a major in Physics and Chemistry with a minor in Astronomy. During his academic career here at FIU, he has been an active member of the Astronomy Club as well as the Society of Physics Students. In the past, he has completed several courses including Modern Astrophysics and is now taking Observational Astronomy with Dr. James Webb.

To add to his experiences, Daniel has worked on the twenty-four inch telescope situated in the Stocker AstroScience Center by taking images of different objects, including but not limited, to M97, M108, and M109. This summer, Daniel will continue working with Dr. Webb and will assist him with his research. Daniel has competed as part of the FIU NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country and Track & Field for the past two and a half years. He is a member of the social fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu.

Fred Hoover Memorial Scholarship Fund

Fred Hoover was known throughout the university as a kind, caring, friendly and outgoing man who was a passionate believer in the importance of education. He enrolled at Florida International University in 1972 and was in the original graduating class as FIU’s first ever physics major. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1974, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from FIU. After he graduated, he remained at FIU as the Laboratory Manager for the Chemistry Department, until his death on Nov. 5, 1998. The Fred Hoover Memorial Endowment Fund was created to honor Mr. Hoover's memory by providing financial support to undergraduate students majoring in Physics at Florida International University.

This year's awardee is:

Asais Uzcategui
Asais "Camila" Uzcategui is originally from Venezuela but has spent most of her life in South Florida. Asais is a Dean’s List student and McNair Fellow. She is completing a double major in Physics and Anthropology. Her research interests lie in the field of biological physics, with an aim to more clearly understand the overtly consequential relationship between fundamental physical laws, and complex biological phenomena. She hopes to one day receive a Ph.D. in biophysics, and ultimately work in the global health industry through biophysical research.

During her time at FIU, Asais was the founding president of the FIU chapter of GlobeMed. Since then they have helped their partner organization, Escuela de la Calle (EDELAC) in Guatemala establish a community health clinic and a clean water project. She is an active member of the Society of Physics Students, and a student researcher in The Theoretical Biophysics Group at FIU. Asais hopes to further employ the skills she has learned doing a molecular physics Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at SRI International in Menlo Park, California over the summer. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.

The Elaine Gordon Scholarship in Women's Studies

Elaine Gordon...Trailblazer...Feminist...Activist...Champion of Human Rights

The Elaine Gordon Scholarship program was established in 2000 to honor the life and work of Elaine Gordon, a former state legislator who, for 22 years, championed equal rights for women.

This year's awardees are:

Natalia Gutierrez
Natalia Gutierrez is a senior completing a double major in Psychology and Women's & Gender studies. She is a Research Assistant and Public Relations Manager and meeting coordinator for Dr. Asia Eaton's Power, Women and Relationships (PWR) lab. She has just completed an internship in the Center for Women and Gender Studies and is expected to complete an internship at the FIU Women's Center in the fall. Upon graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Natalia plans to attend graduate school to become a Mental Health Counselor in order to assist women and sexual minority youth.

Michael Powell
Michael Powell is completing a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies & Psychology. He is the laboratory manager for Dr. Asia Eaton’s Power, Women, and Relationships Lab. In conjunction with FIU and the University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Women’s Studies and Psychology departments, Michael will be presenting his research on GBQ Hispanic and Latino men’s intersecting identities at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood’s biennial conference this October. He will also have an internship in the Gilmore lab at Harvard University this summer. After graduating, Michael will be applying to Ph.D. programs in feminist psychology.