The Swedish Council of America has named Gustavus Adolphus College junior Dawn Comstock as the winner of the Glenn T. Seaborg Science Award for 2012. The award is given annually to an outstanding student from one of six U.S. colleges with Scandinavian heritage that maintain an active connection with modern Scandinavia through language study, student exchange programs, and cultural events. The student must also be a science or mathematics major.
The award will allow Comstock to travel to Sweden in December and attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar as well as several events during Nobel Prize Week including the Nobel Reception, the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, the Nobel Banquet, and the Nobel Night Cap.
“I am so grateful for what I know will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I am incredibly humbled for being granted such a unique opportunity,” Comstock said. “I am so excited to return to Sweden after studying there for a semester as a sophomore and the thought of watching a scientist receive the Nobel Prize is nothing short of phenomenal.”
Comstock is a native of Roseau, Minn., pursuing a double major in biology and Scandinavian studies. She has participated in the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program, as well as a unique summer research program for first-year students funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and is a past recipient of the College’s Maynard and Elaine Jacobson Award for International Pre-medical Studies. She is also involved on campus in Gustie Greeters, the biology honors society Beta Beta Beta, and the Pre-Med Club. Comstock has utilized a strong mix of Gustavus faculty and alumni during her undergraduate years in order to pursue her goals and dreams.
“I have been so fortunate to have many great mentors at Gustavus,” Comstock said. “Dr. Kimberly Murphy was my primary research mentor during her time at Gustavus when I was an underclassman. Her guidance during my first year helped me to develop the foundation necessary to conduct research while also helping me develop a lifelong passion for scientific research. Sanjive Qazi has been another critical advisor and mentor throughout my time here at Gustavus. Alumnus Amy Leval ’97, who is currently completing her Ph.D. at Karolinska Institute, has also helped me tremendously.”
While Comstock has much to look forward to next winter thanks to the Seaborg Award, she also has a busy summer planned.
“This summer I will be researching genetics during an internships at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute in the division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics in Rockville, Maryland,” Comstock said. “I will also be spending a week in Karlskoga, Sweden at the Nobel Museum School for Young Scientists.”
The Gustavus community is invited to a reception and award presentation for Comstock at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 10 in the Heritage Banquet Room. A representative from the Swedish Council of America will lead a brief awards presentation at 10:45 a.m.
The Glenn T. Seaborg Award was established in 1979 in honor of chemist and Nobel laureate Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg who discovered or co-discovered numerous atomic elements, including atomic element number 106, officially named Seaborgium in his honor in 1994. Dr. Seaborg held many distinguished positions including serving as chair of the Atomic Energy Commission under President John F. Kennedy. Dr. Seaborg was also a Chairman Emeritus of the Swedish Council of America.
If you are a Gustavus student interested in applying for the Glenn T. Seaborg Science Award in the future, contact Gustavus Fellowships Coordinator Alisa Rosenthal at 507-933-7437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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