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Juniata Student Receives Fulbright Fellowship to Chilean University

(Posted June 9, 2014)

Alyssa Grube, of Lititz, Pa., was named a Fulbright Fellow to study at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, in Santiago, Chile.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Alyssa Grube, a Juniata College senior from Lititz, Pa. studying biology, recently was named a Fulbright Fellow to study at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, in Santiago, Chile, for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Grube is the daughter of Stan and Carol Grube, of Lititz, and is a 2010 graduate of Warwick High School.

Grube will research in the environmental microbiology and bioengineering laboratory of Bernardo González, working on studying the role of certain bacteria in breaking down aromatic contaminants.

"The Fulbright application process was intense, but rewarding," she says. "The personal statement and research proposal each went through at least six revisions. Fitting a research proposal into two pages, while making it accessible to non-science reviewers, was pretty challenging. Juniata's faculty has been phenomenal in preparing me as both a researcher and a Fulbright applicant. As a whole, Juniata's commitment to excellence and critical thinking have both challenged me and given me the confidence to pursue a career in research."

Grube began her undergraduate research experience at Juniata in her sophomore year, with Jill Keeney, professor of biology. She worked on a project that sought to characterize the function of a protein in yeast.

"Fitting a research proposal into two pages, while making it accessible to non-science reviewers, was pretty challenging. Juniata's faculty has been phenomenal in preparing me as both a researcher and a Fulbright applicant. As a whole, Juniata's commitment to excellence and critical thinking have both challenged me and given me the confidence to pursue a career in research."
Alyssa Grube, Lititz, Pa.

After her sophomore year, Grube spent the summer of 2012 at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine as part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She worked in the laboratory of researcher Rita Tamayo to study the regulation of a gene integral to V. cholerae's attachment to the host intestinal tract.

Grube also spent the fall semester 2012 studying abroad at the University of San Francisco de Quito, in Quito, Ecuador. She was able volunteer in a lab at the university that was focused on wastewater treatment and soil remediation.

During the past two years, including a summer assignment as a Juniata American Society of Microbiologists research fellow, Grube has continued her research career with Regina Lamendella, assistant professor of biology at Juniata. Grube is analyzing data related to the Soil Microbiome Project.

Grube continues to be active in other activities on campus. She is co-president of the Juniata chapter of the American Society for Microbiology and is vice president of Tri-Beta, the Juniata chapter of the national biology honor society.

She presented her research projects at three Liberal Arts Symposiums,. She also spoke about her research at a meeting of the Allegheny Branch of the American Society of Microbiology at St. Vincent College, in Latrobe, Pa. in November 2013.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program equips future American leaders with the skills they need to thrive in increasingly global environment by providing funding for one academic year of study, language instruction or research abroad, to be conducted after graduation from an accredited university.

Fellows undertake self-designed programs in disciplines ranging from social sciences, business, communication and performing arts to physical sciences, engineering and education.

The U.S. Student Program awards approximately 1,100 grants annually and currently operates in over 140 countries worldwide.?The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Financial support is provided by an annual appropriation from Congress to the Department of State, with significant contributions from participating governments and host institutions in the United States and abroad.

The presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board formulates policy guidelines and makes the final selection of all grantees.?The Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. Student Program, including an annual competition for the scholarships. The Fulbright Program also awards grants to American teachers and faculty to do research, lecture and teach overseas. In addition, some 2,200 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, carry out research, and lecture at U.S. universities, colleges and secondary schools.

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