(Posted July 6, 2015)

Sam Gary, a junior from Rockwood, Pa.
Sam Gary, a junior from Rockwood, Pa.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Sam Gary, a junior at Juniata College from Rockwood, Pa. studying biology and minoring in Spanish, received a scholarship from the Amgen Scholars Program to study and perform research this summer at a laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Gary, the son of Patricia Benford and Douglas Gary, both of Rockwood, Pa., will work as an undergraduate researcher at the lab through Aug. 1 and attend the Amgen Scholars U.S. Symposium at UCLA.

He is a 2013 graduate of Rockwood Area High School.

The financial support for the program varies by institution, but all scholars receive a living stipend, room, board and a travel allowance both to the UCLA symposium and travel to and from their host university.

The Amgen scholars can study at one of 10 sites across the country, including the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Columbia University/Barnard College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Washington University (St. Louis), the National institutes of Health, and three University of California campuses: Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

"Juniata is a small school with endless opportunities; you just have to have the drive and motivation to pursue them. I would not change my decision to come here, not even if Harvard or Stanford offered me a full ride. I don't fit in there. I fit in and belong with the Juniata community."

Sam Gary, Class of 2017

"It is unheard of, as a science and pre-medicine student, to be able to perform undergraduate research, study abroad, edit the school newspaper, while graduating in four years, but that is exactly what I am doing," Gary says. "Juniata is a small school with endless opportunities; you just have to have the drive and motivation to pursue them. I would not change my decision to come here, not even if Harvard or Stanford offered me a full ride. I don't fit in there. I fit in and belong with the Juniata community."

As a researcher, Gary just started in spring 2015, working with highly reactive compounds used in the process of drug or pharmaceutical synthesis with John Unger, assistant professor of chemistry. Previously he spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 working as an intern in the operating rooms at Somerset Hospital in Somerset, Pa.

Gary also is scheduled to study abroad in his senior year and will study either in Quito, Ecuador or Seville, Spain.

Gary has been active on the Juniata campus, where he served as a member of the Chemistry Club, Health Occupations Students of America and Tri-Beta, the national honor society for biology.

The Amgen Foundation has donated $34 million over the past eight years to give about 2,400 undergraduates hands-on research experience. The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen communities where Amgen employees live and work. Amgen is a biotechnology company specializing in biopharmaceutical projects such as Enbrel, Epogen and Neulasta.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.