Scientific ScholarGAMBIER, Ohio (January 13, 2006) Kenyon senior Karly Burke is among twelve national recipients of the coveted 2006-2007 George J. Mitchell Scholarship. The first Kenyon student to receive the Mitchell award, Burke will study for a master's degree in biomedical science at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
A biochemistry major, Burke is an accomplished researcher who has been a Summer Science scholar at Kenyon, earning a stipend to pursue research with Kenyon professors, and has studied in Scotland, where she researched health systems and medical workforces across Europe. The Woodbury, Minnesota, native received a Goldwater Scholarship in 2004.
Among her research projects at Kenyon, Burke has worked with Professor of Chemistry John Lutton on a computer model that aimed to find more efficient, precisely targeted antidepressant drugs. Another project investigated the benefits of drugs that help protect the heart from dangerous side effects of an aggressive anticancer medicine. "Biomedical research," Burke says, "offers a chance to combine creativity with a greater understanding of the biological side of life." She is motivated by "the possibilities of science to make a positive difference in the world."
Launched in 1998, the Mitchell Scholarship recognizes outstanding young Americans who exhibit the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership, and community service. Administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., the Mitchell Scholarship program brings future American leaders to the island of Ireland for a year of graduate study at a university in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Although still relatively new, the Mitchell Scholarships have become a prestigious, intensely competitive fellowship program. There were 236 applicants from 171 colleges and universities for this year's twelve awards.