The New Class of Scholars of the UNCF-Merck Science Initiative

MERCK-FoundationThe Merck Company Foundation has announced the awarding of scholarships and fellowships to 37 of the countryʼs most accomplished and promising African-American undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students of biological science and engineering. The United Negro College Fund/Merck Science Initiative is now in its 18th year and has awarded scholarships to 626 African American students. The 2013 UNCF•MERCK Fellows receive awards ranging from $25,000 for undergraduate scholarship recipients to $92,000 for recipients of postdoctoral fellowships.

“Merck is proud of our long-standing partnership with UNCF,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO of Merck, one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies. “As a leading healthcare company deeply committed to innovative R&D, we need to tap into the full range of talent and ideas available. This important initiative helps ensure that outstanding African-American students can play a key role in addressing the significant and growing medical need here in the U.S. and around the world.”

Here is a list of this year’s winners:

Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards (up to $25,000 each)

  • Uzoamaka C. Agubokwu, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania
  • Maurice A. Asouzu, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Olayode O. Babatunde, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Akeadra E. Bell, Elizabeth City State University
  • Gavin Coombs, High Point University
  • Robyn T. Harper, University of Maryland at College Park
  • Rena Ingram, Fort Valley State University
  • Jarvis J. Johnson, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Kenyaria Noble, University of South Florida
  • Elizabeth Ogunrinde, Florida State University
  • Uchenna C. Okoro, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Chinonso Opara, University of Washington
  • Achaia J. Taltoan, Kentucky State University
  • Sarra Z. Tekola, University of Washington
  • Ezigbobiara N. Umejiego, Kennesaw State University

Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowships (up to $53,500 each)

  • Olukemi O. Akintewe, University of South Florida
  • Omotayo A. Arowojolu, New York University School of Medicine
  • Amma Asare, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Tamar Carter, University of Florida
  • Wilbert B. Copeland, University of Washington
  • Chimdimnma Esimai, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Frankie D. Heyward, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Brian S.R. Johnson, University of Pennsylvania
  • Courtney M. Johnson, Brown University
  • Samuel J. Laurencin, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Jason McSheene, Princeton University
  • Anthony Williams, University of Miami

Postdoctoral Science research Fellows (up to $92, 000 each)

  • Ericka L. Anderson, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Anoklase Ayitou, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • Muyinatu Bell, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
  • Zufan Debebe, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Mehabaw G. Derebe, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Faith L. Hall-Glenn, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Geoffrey K. Kilili, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health
  • Jeremy M. Lott, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Jennifer L. McLarty, Ph.D., University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Martin N. Shelon, Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle

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  1. Really Ken Frazier?
    Are these the same high achieving inner city youth that have followed your same path from the streets of 25th & Diamond to Penn State & Harvard? Do you actually think Agubokwu, Asouzu, Babatunde, Ogunrinde, Okoro, Opara, Tekola, Umejiego, would refer to themselves as “African Americans”?

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