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Three Pomona College Science Students Awarded Prestigious Beckman and Goldwater Scholarships

Three Pomona College students, Benjamin Kozak '10, William R. Fletcher '11 and Thomas J. Lane '10, have been awarded prestigious science scholarships.

Kozak, a biology major from Hawthorne Woods, IL, has been named a Beckman Scholar. The recognition includes a $17,600 award to fund in-depth undergraduate research experiences and comprehensive faculty mentoring for two summers and one academic year.

Kozak is working with Biology Professor Clarissa Cheney on a project involving protein-protein interactions in intracellular transport. "Cells have an intracellular transport system that involves packaging materials inside bubbles of membrane within the cell, called vesicles," explains Cheney. "These vesicles have address molecules placed on them to make sure the vesicles are transported to the correct intracellular destination. Ben is studying the molecular machinery for setting up these addresses and the proteins that interact to do this.... Intracellular transport controls how cells release signals and also how cells receive signals. These signals are important in regulating cell growth, such as in cancer, as well as in how cells respond to hormones, such as insulin."

The Beckman Scholars Program is an invited program for accredited universities and four-year colleges in the United States. It provides scholarships that contribute significantly in advancing the education, research training and personal development of select students in chemistry, biochemistry, and the biological and medical sciences.

Fletcher and Lane have received Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships of $7,500 per year towards the cost of the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Lucy Vasserman '11, a computer science major, received an honorable mention.

Fletcher, a resident of Missoula, MT, is a chemistry/mathematics double major. His future plans include a Ph.D. in chemistry, research in physical chemistry and teaching at the university level.

Lane, a resident of Houston, TX, is a chemistry major. His future plans also include a Ph.D. and an academic career in research and teaching at the university level.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,097 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. For 2009-10, 278 scholarships were awarded. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 73 Rhodes Scholarships, 102 Marshall Awards, and numerous other distinguished fellowships.

Pomona College, founded in 1887 and one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, is known for small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research. In 2009, it was named to the "Best Value" college lists of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine and Princeton Review.