The Catholic University of America

April 7, 2010

Biomedical Engineering Major Awarded Goldwater Scholarship
Second CUA Student Receives Honorable Mention


Jenna Graham

Catholic University junior Jenna Graham of Columbia, Md., a biomedical engineering major, has been named a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

Graham was one of 278 scholars selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,111 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

“I cried when I saw my name on that list,” says Graham. “I had been anxiously awaiting the announcement and I felt relieved and incredibly happy.”

Graham is president of CUA’s chapter of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Society of Women Engineers. After her freshman year at CUA, she spent the summer on campus working with Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Otto Wilson on a project studying the incorporation of silver into hydroxyapatite – a calcium phosphate found in bones – for implants that stimulate bone growth and repair.

Last summer, she worked on three separate research projects at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md. She plans to return there this summer to do more research.

Graham plans to eventually obtain a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering and to pursue research in either biomaterials or cell and tissue engineering. She says she hopes to make a significant contribution to the advancement of the medical field.

As a Goldwater Scholar, Graham will receive up to $7,500 next year toward the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

Junior Sophia Binz of Garrett, Ind., a double major in biochemistry and English, was one of 169 students nationwide who received an honorable mention. Binz’s career goal is to receive a medical degree and a doctoral degree in biochemistry so she can conduct research in the pathways of disease in order to develop drugs that will alleviate the suffering of patients.

This is the second year in a row that a CUA biomedical engineering student has received the scholarship. Three other students from the School of Engineering have been named Goldwater Scholars.
In the last 20 Goldwater competitions CUA has had 16 students named scholars from physics, biology, math, chemistry and engineering. Three students have received honorable mentions.

Established by Congress in 1986, the scholarship program honoring the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.