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Goldwater Scholarship Awarded to Juniata Biology Student

(Posted April 22, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Travis Hull, a junior from Summerhill, Pa. at Juniata College studying biology, has been chosen to receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Students selected for this scholarship are chosen based on academic merit from the fields of mathematics, science and engineering.

Hull, the son of David and Janet Hull, will apply the $7,500 scholarship to tuition for his senior year at Juniata.

Hull has focused his studies and research on microbiology and is currently considering medical schools that offer a research component. "I really liked the element of discovery," Hull says. "The connection between research and medicine is relevant to being a good doctor and a well-informed doctor."

Hull was chosen from a field of 1,035 students from hundreds of colleges and universities. This year, 321 scholarships were awarded.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 in 1986. The scholarship program honoring the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Hull has spent his sophomore and junior years working on a research project that attempts to isolate genes within a microbial bacterium that has pharmaceutical implications for drug development. He has worked as summer research assistant for Jennifer Bennett, von Liebig Postdoctoral Fellow in biology, and received a fellowship from the American Society of Microbiology to support his project.

This summer, he will work on a research team at Harvard University Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. in the laboratory of Gregory Stahl, principal investigator in the Laboratory for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury.

Although relatively few undergraduate students get to present their research at professional meetings, Hull presented a poster at the national meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in Toronto in 2007 and will present another poster at the society's national meeting in Boston June 1-5. He also has made presentations at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pa., Swarthmore College and at Undergraduate Research at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

He has been elected president of the Health Occupations Students of America for the 2008-2009 academic year and served as treasurer of the Juniata chapter of the American Society of Microbiologists. He also is a member of Tri-Beta, the national biology honor society.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.