Gustavus Adolphus College senior Sarah Lucht ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright Study/Research Grant to Iceland for 2013. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
Lucht’s Fulbright Grant will allow her to work in Dr. Jórunn Eyfjörð’s laboratory at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. Dr. Eyfjörð primarily studies cancer genetics and genomic instability, with a focus on breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. Lucht says that she will be researching full-time on a few different studies in the laboratory, most likely related to breast cancer gene mutations.
“I am really excited about gaining hands-on experience doing cancer research, as I plan to attend Harvard School of Public Health after completing the Fulbright to obtain a Masters in Epidemiology focused on cancer epidemiology and prevention,” Lucht said. “I am hopeful that my experiences in Iceland will supplement my graduate studies well and provide me with an important base of knowledge as I go forward.”
Lucht has spent the past four years at Gustavus building up that base of knowledge. The Brooklyn Center, Minn., native is scheduled to graduate this spring with a double major in biochemistry & molecular biology and chemistry. Lucht says that one of the advantages of attending Gustavus has been the close and quality interaction she has received from several of her professors.
“Dr. Amanda Nienow from the Chemistry Department has been incredibly supportive of my learning here at Gustavus since my first semester when she taught my section of General Chemistry,” Lucht said. “I have profited greatly from her wise advice as a mentor, professor, and academic advisor. Dr. Jeff Dahlseid from the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department really encourages me to consider my role in the world, inside and outside of science. His love of vocational reflection has rubbed off on me, and I am grateful for every conversation I have had with him.”
Besides spending a considerable amount of time in the laboratories of the Nobel Hall of Science, Lucht is a Gustie Greeter, a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, the Elders’ Adopt-A-Grandparent program, and the Tri Beta National Honors Society.
“With her work ethic, intelligence, strong background, and deep interest, I have no doubt Sarah will be successful,” Dr. Nienow said. “Not only does Sarah excel inside the science classroom, she has a true liberal arts mind and loves to learn. She has especially had interest in learning languages and has taken classes in Spanish, Latin, German, and Arabic. In addition to a pursuit of language, Sarah has been involved in our Peer Mentoring program, working with first-year chemistry students to teach them about science and college in general.”
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program awards approximately 7,500 new grants annually and currently operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
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