Goldwater Scholarship Opens Door to Senior's Graduate School Opportunities

Two years ago Lindsey Jones received a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship to help enhance her knowledge and experience in science.

Jones was only a sophomore at the time and was one of just 275 students in the country to win the scholarship that honors top science and math undergraduates.

Today, the senior biochemistry major, Spanish minor and Huge-NWU Scholarship recipient from Lincoln continues to reap the benefits of this scholarship as she prepares for her graduate studies in genetic research.

“It helps get your name out to other schools,” Jones said of the Goldwater Scholarship. “It helps you stand out from other students and it provides funding.”

For the past several weeks, Jones has been traveling across the United States for graduate school interviews with some of the country’s most prestigious biology programs including UC-San Francisco, Duke, Emory, UC-San Diego, Cornell, and UNC-Chapel Hill.

“Looking for summer research opportunities gave me ideas,” said Jones referring to her list of graduate school applications.

For the past two summers Jones participated in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, conducting research at Texas A&M University and Colorado State University. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and allows students to work in a laboratory setting for 10 weeks, being guided through new science techniques with graduate and post-doctorate students. These research opportunities have allowed her to directly apply knowledge learned from her Nebraska Wesleyan biology courses to research projects with students from other schools.

Along with these research opportunities, Jones participated in the 2012 West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference, taking home an award for “top oral presentation” in the area of genetics.

Jones’ academic advisor and professor of biology, Garry Duncan, has been very pleased with the progress that she has made in the last four years. She is currently serving as president of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honorary where she has shown great leadership delegating tasks and creating ideas to benefit the group, he said.

“I’ve seen her gain a lot of confidence,” said Duncan. “She’s developed a great sense of how to work with others and how to motive not just herself.”

Jones is specifically interested in an area of genetics called epigenetics that studies how and when genes are turned off and on within the body, as well as how it affects genetic mutation.

“Epigenetics is a starting place and I’m willing to learn what it has to offer,” Jones said. “Right now it’s a book idea, but we’ll see where that gets me.”

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Lindsey's Goldwater Scholarship opened doors to more research and graduate school opportunities.