By Cheryl Toomey, University Relations Graduate Assistant
Adrianna Eder has received an Honorable Mention for the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate scholarship for students conducting research in the sciences.
“I am thrilled to be the first student from UTC selected for Honorable Mention by the Goldwater Foundation,” says Eder, a Brock Scholar.
Eder’s completed research with Dr. David Giles formed the basis of her Departmental Honors Thesis. She studies chemistry, biology and accounting as an Integrated Studies major.
“Over the past seven months, I examined how bacteria found on the skin utilize different fatty acids found in oils, such as canola or sunflower oil, in top-brand lotions,” explains Eder. “Further research in this area could potentially lead to a greater understanding of bacteria’s resistance and ability to infect under certain conditions.”
Eder was recognized by the Goldwater Foundation for her proposal to continue this research.
“My proposed project was an extension of my current research on bacterial lipids,” explains Eder. “My intent is to examine the exchange of lipids that occurs in a gonorrhea infection, which happens between the bacterium N. gonorrhoeae and cervical epithelial cells. Over the past 60 years, N. gonorrhoeae has become resistant to many antibiotics, thus making it difficult to control. I proposed that this exchange of lipids may have an impact on the ability of N. gonorrhoeae to cause infection.”
Approximately 300 Goldwater Scholars and 240-300 Honorable Mention recipients are chosen annually nationwide. The candidates are chosen based on their potential to make a meaningful contribution to their fields of study. Although it does not include a stipend, the Foundation considers Honorable Mention equivalent in stature to being named a Scholar. Eder was one of only ten Honorable Mentions chosen from Tennessee.
“Adrianna’s recognition as an Honorable Mention for the Goldwater Scholarship is a significant achievement as is simply being nominated by UTC to apply for this scholarship,” says Dr. Linda Frost, Dean of the Honors College.
The purpose of the Goldwater Scholarship is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.
“The research Adrianna has initiated here at UTC is already being continued by other fine undergraduate researchers and she has paved new academic paths here at UTC with her exemplary work in both science and business. We are very proud of Adrianna and excited to see where her future will take her,” says Frost.
Following her graduation from UTC, Adrianna plans to pursue a M.D. in Public Health & General Preventative Medicine and a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunobiology.
“I want to offer a special thanks to the faculty in the Biology and Chemistry departments at UTC for believing in me and providing excellent research opportunities,” says Eder. “This honor is a great reminder that students at UTC have what it takes to be recognized at a national level”