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Queens College Student Named Winner of Prestigious Jonas E. Salk Scholarship

Queens, NY, April 23, 2021 – Queens College student Naomi Shohet, who will be graduating in May, has been named the recipient of a prestigious Jonas E. Salk Scholarship by the City University of New York. Since 1955, CUNY as annually presented the Jonas E. Salk Award to eight outstanding students who will be attending medical schools or graduate programs in biomedical sciences after graduation.

A Macaulay Honors student majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry, since her freshman year, Shohet has been doing research in the Queens College biochemistry laboratory of Uri Samuni, where she also mentored other students in research techniques. Additionally, she has made poster presentations at two chemistry conventions. She is a member of the Biology and Chemistry Honor Societies and a Queen College Presidential Scholar—a recognition awarded students with a cumulative GPA of 3.9­–4.0—and will be the student speaker at Baccalaureate on Tuesday, June 1. Shohet has been accepted by SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and plans to specialize in geriatrics, a choice inspired by her experience as a caregiver for her grandmother, who was diagnosed with dementia.

“Naomi is representative of what we hope is a trend in medical care — a brilliant scientific mind inspired by compassion borne of personal experience,” said Queens College President Frank H. Wu. “We are enormously proud of her accomplishments and are eager to see the contributions that she will make to the medical community and how she will benefit her patients, who are among the most vulnerable members of society.”

Salk Scholarship winners receive a total of $8,000 over the course of four years to help defray the cost of study for MD and DO degrees as well as doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences.

“I am so happy to receive this scholarship,” said Shohet. “I could not have done it without the help of Dr. Samuni, as he molded me as a researcher and critical thinker from my freshman year of college. I am also really grateful to Ms. Valli Cook (Health Professions Advisory Services) for guiding me throughout my application process for medical school and for this scholarship.” 

Shohet is also the recipient of the Jeffrey Hollander MD Award. The award is offered to a graduating senior who has been accepted to an American medical school and who has demonstrated high scholarship, meaningful participation in campus activities, and service to the college and the community.

“Naomi will be an excellent and compassionate physician and has the potential to make an impact in medical research,” said Samuni. “I am sure Naomi’s future achievements will make us and the college community proud. I also want to thank Valli for guiding us through the application process. Without her help, this would not have happened.”

Salk Awards—named after world-renowned scientist Jonas E. Salk, developer of the first vaccine to prevent polio, and a graduate of The City College of New York—are based on academic performance, especially scientific research that students conducted as undergraduates. The selection committee chooses students for their potential to make significant contributions to medical research. Students must apply for the scholarship through their campus pre-medical offices.

Since her sophomore year, Shohet has been an event coordinator at Queens College Hillel and has been an engagement intern for Hillel since her junior year. She has also volunteered at soup kitchens, senior centers, and at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Salk Scholarship winners receive a total of $8,000 over the course of four years to help defray the cost of study for M.D. and D.O. degrees as well as doctoral degrees in Biomedical Sciences. Shohet hopes to pursue a career in medicine and has been accepted to SUNY Downstate Medical School.

The Jonas E. Salk Scholarship was created by the Board of Estimate of the City of New York in 1955 to honor Dr. Jonas E. Salk, world-renowned scientist, developer of the first vaccine to prevent polio, and a graduate of The City College of New York.
About Queens College
Queens College produces more education graduates who become principals, teachers, and counselors for the city’s public schools than any other college in the metropolitan area. The college contributes to the local talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education. Students from across the country and around the world are attracted to study at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors, and performers who have received over 100 Grammy Awards and nominations. 

Queens College 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 more than 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 has been cited by Princeton Review as one of America's Best Value Colleges for four consecutive years, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit our homepage to learn more

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