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Betsy Parkinson ′10 Receives National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Publication Date: 4/8/2010

Betsy Parkinson, a senior majoring in chemistry at Rhodes College, has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowship. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend along with an allowance for tuition and fees at an institution of the fellow’s choice and a one-time international travel allowance. Parkinson plans to graduate from Rhodes in May and attend The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall.

NSF Fellows are anticipated to become experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. Parkinson has a particular interest in chemical biology, specifically focusing on organic chemistry and its applications in biology.

Considered criteria for the highly competitive NSF fellowship include the applicant’s proposed plan of research, description of previous research experience, academic record, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and the appropriateness of the chosen institution for graduate study relative to the proposed plan of research.

Parkinson says she is thankful to those who helped her through the application process including Dr. Phil Potter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and at Rhodes, Dr. Loretta Jackson-Hayes, Dr. Mauricio Cafiero, Dr. David Jeter, Dr. Mary Miller, and Dr. Judith Haas.  “Betsy Parkinson′s NSF fellowship is a fantastic accomplishment that exemplifies what we do in the sciences here at Rhodes College,” says Miller.

At Rhodes, Parkinson has participated in the St. Jude Summer Plus Program where she worked in a molecular pharmacology lab at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital helping to develop an agent that can reduce side effects of chemotherapy. Parkinson recently discussed her work at St. Jude at the American Chemical Society Conference held in San Francisco, Calif.

Parkinson also has served as president of Rhodes’ chapter of the American Chemical Society, president of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, and a peer tutor in the Department of Chemistry as well as a tutor at Springdale Elementary School. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a 2008-2009 Goldwater Scholar.

Parkinson is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Parkinson of Greenville, Miss.

Tags: Honors, Students

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