ASHLAND — Receiving a scholarship can often be one of the many highlights of a college student’s career because of the help it provides with the inevitable debt that most students have when they leave college. For senior toxicology and forensic biology major Maria Kern, this scholarship lifted a small weight from her shoulders.
Kern is the latest AU science student to receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Ohio EPA’s Environmental Fund. In her time at AU, she has conducted environmental science research as part of the university’s water monitoring program at the Black Fork wetlands preserve.
“This scholarship is very meaningful in the fact that it rewards the hard work that students have done in terms of environmental research outside of their coursework. Receiving this scholarship is a reminder that the work that I have been doing is important and will have an effect outside of just myself and Ashland University,” Kern said.
Kern is the 24th Ashland University science student to be chosen for the Ohio EPA scholarship since 2006.
In order to be in consideration for this scholarship, Kern had to send in an application that included a current transcript, resume, two letters of recommendation from her mentors at AU, and three short essays detailing why she chose her major and how this scholarship will help her, her research in environmental science, and her extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership skills and social responsibilities.
Most recently, Kern has started a new research project with chemistry professor Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer to evaluate the bioavailability of cadmium in inexpensive jewelry.
“Often times this jewelry is marketed towards young children, who are at a higher risk for cadmium exposure from these pieces because they are more likely to put these pieces in their mouth or accidentally swallow them. Therefore, my research focuses on how easily cadmium is removed from these pieces into the surrounding environment,” Kern said.
A few more of Kern’s accomplishments include being a member of the University’s honors program, a Choose Ohio First scholar, and a part of the field research internship program at Central Michigan University during the summer of 2018.
“The most rewarding part of this scholarship is the acknowledgement that my previous research is something that could be used for environmental research or improvement in the future,” Kern said.
Following her graduation this coming May, Kern says that she doesn’t have any concrete plans yet, but thinks she will be taking a few years to work in the field before heading to graduate school.
ASHLAND — Samuel Shockey of West Alexandria, is a member of Ashland University’s Men’s Cross Country team.
Shockey is majoring in intervention specialist eduaction. He is a 2017 graduate of Twin Valley South High School.
The Ashland University cross country team competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Last year, Ashland’s men finished sixth, and Ashland’s women eighth, at the GLIAC Championships. The Ashland University cross country team is led by head coach Jacob Sussman. The Eagles’ latest meet was Oct. 11 at Wilmington’s JennaStrong Fall Classic.