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Queens College Student Lauren Blachorsky Wins Prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

-- Flushing Resident Plans a Science Career; Spent Last Summer at MIT --

FLUSHING, NY, March 31, 2014—Lauren Blachorsky, a neuroscience major at Queens College, has been awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s premier award for undergraduates majoring in math, science and engineering.  As a Goldwater Scholar, Blachorsky will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Blachorsky, who will graduate next year, is a member of the Macaulay Honors College at QC.

Congress established the federally funded award in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. Its purpose is to provide the nation with a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.

Blachorsky, a Paramus, New Jersey native, who lives in Flushing, is a student in the Queens College Neuroscience Honors Program with a biology concentration and a minor in chemistry. She has worked in laboratories on campus since her freshman year and spent last summer at the MIT Summer Research Program. Her research with Dr. Carolyn Pytte at Queens, in collaboration with Dr. Cheryl Harding at Hunter College, covers the cognitive and neural effects of mold exposure on mice, with the aim of better understanding the detrimental effect of such exposure and developing ways to prevent resultant cognitive deficits. 

“It is an incredible honor to be named a Goldwater Scholar, and I could not have done it without the tremendous support I have received from the research community here at Queens College. Most notably, I would like to especially thank Drs. Carolyn Pytte and Joshua Brumberg for starting me off in my research career, and fostering in me a love of science,” said Blachorsky. “This award is invaluable in motivating me to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.”

The Goldwater Foundation awarded 283 scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. Goldwater scholars were selected in a highly competitive process on the basis of academic merit from more than 1,000 mathematics, science, and engineering students that were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Since its inception, Goldwater Scholars have won dozens of prestigious national awards including the Rhodes, National Science Foundation, Truman, Mitchell, and Fulbright.
“As an undergraduate, Lauren has already demonstrated great scientific promise,” said Queens College Interim President Evangelos Gizis, himself a research chemist. “We are so pleased that she has received this very competitive award, which I have no doubt will ultimately lead to a brilliant career in neuroscience.”
Adds Dr. Mike Lamb, Macaulay’s Scholar-in-Residence: “Every time I hear Lauren present her research, I’m reminded once again what a great public scientist she is. She combines a powerful, precise intellect with a warm enthusiasm about science that draws in experts and non-experts alike.”
Three Macaulay Honors College students received Goldwater honorable mentions including: Nicholas Crispi (Hunter), a mathematics major with a focus on commutative algebra; Jennifer Zagelbaum (Hunter), a molecular biology student researching genomic integrity; and Lucinda Zawadzki (College of Staten Island), a biochemistry major researching the pollution of marine ecosystems. Blachorsky, Crispi and Zagelbaum are all members of Macaulay’s Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars Program—an internal scholarship founded 11 years ago that provides mentoring and specialized advisement to support students applying for national scholarships. 
“We are so proud of our students and look forward to a lifetime of contributions in their chosen fields of science and mathematics,” said Macaulay University Dean Ann Kirschner. 
Queens College of the City University of New York enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its over 20,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college was cited this year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 378 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. In 2013, Washington Monthly ranked QC #1 among “Master’s Universities” as a Best-Bang-for-the-Buck college and #2 nationwide among only 349 colleges that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. See
Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers exceptional students a uniquely personalized education with access to the vast resources of the nation’s largest urban university and New York City itself.   Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, Macaulay students receive a full-tuition scholarship, a laptop and technology support, and an Opportunities Fund to pursue global learning and service opportunities. Macaulay students enroll in one of eight CUNY senior colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, Queens and Staten Island). For more information, see                                                           


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