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Scientist Wins Goldwater Scholarship

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Rebecca Beuschel’s research in the lab of associate professor of biology Geraldine Grant is about the search for biomarkers that can detect idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

In our college, we champion success without limits. The prestigious Goldwater Scholarship also supports educational excellence—selecting recipients based on academic merit, targeting undergraduate students in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Of the 1,280 who applied from colleges and universities nationwide, only 211 individuals received a scholarship.

Rebecca Beuschel, a biology and neuroscience major, received the Goldwater Scholarship in spring of 2019. Beuschel, from Williamsburg, Virginia and a member of the Honors College and Phi Beta Kappa, is Mason’s third Goldwater recipient in the past few years. Three other Mason students also received honorable mention, including junior mathematics major Jiajing Guan.

“With Mason’s R1 status, consistently winning Goldwater Scholarships symbolizes our capacity to support and nurture undergraduate researchers in STEM fields is increasing every year,” said LaNitra Berger, director of the Office of Fellowships in the Honors College and the campus’ Goldwater Scholarship representative.

In her current research, Beuschel and her mentor, biosciences PhD student Luis Rodriguez, search for biomarkers in blood cells that can detect idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a disease that results in scarring of the lungs, which makes it difficult to take in enough oxygen.

Associate professor of biology, Geraldine Grant saw Beuschel’s development as a student and
researcher first-hand from Beuschel’s work in Grant’s lab since her freshman year.

“She’s thoughtful, inquisitive, and also extremely humble,” Grant said. “She never assumes more than she thinks she knows.”