LAUNCH congratulates Connor Bowerman ‘24 and Katelyn Plank ’24 for becoming the 2021 Beckman Scholarship recipients.
Beckman Scholar institutions are a part of an elite and carefully-selected program, and participation is strictly invitation-only. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation identifies colleges and universities that will receive Beckman Scholars application invitations. The extremely thorough selection process consists of interviews and a two-part review led by a panel of scientific experts. Institutions are chosen based on their dedication to undergraduate research in chemistry, biology and/or combinations thereof and their capability of competing in national level programs.
The Beckman Foundation supports researchers and institutions in their journey towards new methods of research. Texas A&M University was one of twelve institutions that will collectively receive $1.5 million in science funding in 2018. $27 million have been awarded to over 1,300 students since the Foundation’s first award 20 years ago.
The Texas A&M Beckman Scholars are identified as the top undergraduate students majoring in specific science fields during their freshman year. Once students are selected, they begin careers in research under the supervision of faculty mentors in their departments the summer prior to their sophomore year. Beckman Scholars continue their research projects until graduation and are also expected to participate in many activities such as leadership and research programming, networking opportunities, and exposure to the review and publication process of scientific research, as well as preparation for the process of graduate or professional school application.
Connor Bowerman ‘24
Connor Bowerman ‘24 is a Physics major from Austin, Texas. Bowerman is the first Physics major chosen for the TAMU Beckman Scholars Program. He began his research experience as a research assistant studying the detection of COVID-19 using fluorescent nanoparticles as well as worked with enhancing the sensitivity of lateral flow assay with application to COVID-19. Bowerman enjoys the rigid definitions of physics and is interested in exploring basic physics research in areas such as particle physics, nuclear energy and semiconductors. When not focused on physics, Bowerman also enjoys discussing philosophy. Describing himself as “strategic” and “ inquisitive”, his career goal is “to maximize the amount of good I do while minimizing the amount of bad I do”.
Katelyn Plank ’24
Katelyn Plank ’24 is a Biochemistry major from Albuquerque, New Mexico. A first generation Latina, Plank is fascinated by immunology and autoimmune diseases. Plank is interested in understanding the origins of immune disorders with an eye to developing therapies to cure conditions such as psoriasis and lupus. Her interests also include biochemical research, clinical research, and bioethics. A TD BANK U.S. Achieve the Dream Scholarship recipient, Plank considers herself a kid “who never grew up” as she uses her curiosity to delve deeper into all sorts of biological questions en route to becoming a clinical research scientist. Plank’s future goals are to gain networking skills, advance her laboratory capabilities, and to expand her knowledge of biochemistry/biology.
Congratulations to Connor Bowerman ‘24 and Katelyn Plank ’24 on their achievement. We look forward to learning more about you and your research in the coming months!