(Posted November 16, 2015)

Nikea Ulrich, who is studying biology and German, received a DAAD scholarship to study at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany.
Nikea Ulrich, who is studying biology and German, received a DAAD scholarship to study at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Nikea Ulrich, a junior from Homer, N.Y. studying biology and German, received the German Academic Exchange Service's (DAAD) undergraduate/graduate scholarship to fund a spring semester 2016 study-abroad experience at Philipps University, in Marburg, Germany.

Ulrich is the daughter of James Ulrich and Elaine Norris, also of Homer. She is a 2013 graduate of Homer Central High School.

This highly competitive scholarship is for qualified undergraduate students to fund senior thesis research, internships, and study in Germany. DAAD is a German national agency aiming to bring together US, Canadian and German universities, professors and students, to provide fellowships and programs for students from the United States and Canada and to promote Germany's academic, scientific and cultural accomplishments.

Ulrich will study abroad in spring 2016 at Philipps University, near Frankfurt. She studied abroad previously as an Eagles Abroad Fellow when she studied German for five weeks at Kapito Sprachschule in Muenster, Germany.

In just three years, Ulrich has amassed an impressive record of research projects. In 2014, Ulrich started working with Regina Lamendella, assistant professor of biology, on two projects exploring how hydraulic fracturing affects the aquatic microbial communities around fracking sites and within the fluid used in the fracking process. She also is working with Lamendella on another project tracing how the bacterial community near a small creek changes over the duration of a major storm.

"The faculty provide an amazing foundation for my aspirations for a future career in science. They know just how much to push you so you can get the most out of your educational experience here."

Nikea Ulrich, a junior from Homer, N.Y.

She received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship to pursue research in summer 2014 and received an American Society of Microbiology fellowship in summer 2015, also to support research. She received a National Science Foundation-sponsored S-STEM scholarship as well. In 2014, she received an Honorable Mention for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

"The opportunities I've received have made my education here unique," Ulrich says. "The faculty provide an amazing foundation for my aspirations for a future career in science. They know just how much to push you so you can get the most out of your educational experience here."

In addition to performing research, Ulrich has traveled to several professional conferences to present her research, including the 2015 national meeting for the American Society of Microbiologists in New Orleans, La., where she received the Outstanding Student Presentation Award. She also presented her research at a regional ASM meeting at Lycoming College, the Landmark Symposium at Goucher College, and Juniata's Liberal Arts Symposium.

She remains active on campus, playing the clarinet in the college's Wind Symphony and competed on Juniata's softball team during her freshman year and part of her sophomore season. She is a member of the ASM Club, the German Club and the Astronomy Club. She is a member of Tri-Beta, the national honor society for biology.

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