Colorado State University Students Named Prestigious Scholars

Two Colorado State University students recently were named honorable scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Foundation and the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

Drew Neavin has been named a 2012 Goldwater Scholar. Neavin, from Saint Paul, Minn., majors in biology in the College of Natural Sciences and minors in both math and Spanish. 

The Barry M. Goldwater Foundation awarded 282 scholarships from a pool of 1,123 applicants. Neavin was chosen from the competitive field for her outstanding academic achievement and commitment to a career in human genetic diseases research. Goldwater Scholars receive up to $7,500 toward the final one or two years of undergraduate study.

Neavin has been active in research at CSU for three years. In 2010, she worked as an intern in associate professor Deborah Garrity’s lab in the Department of Biology. Her work in cardiac morphological research earned her highest honors at CSU’s Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase. Neavin was also one of three students chosen to present her research at CSU Day at the Capitol in Denver as well as at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s research symposium.

She is currently a member of CSU’s Flexible and Extendable Scientific Undergraduate Experience (FEScUE) research group. Working under Professor Michael Antolin, she has contributed to research on both the ecology and genetics of infectious diseases and on histone-binding of DNA as part of the Eukaryotic nucleosome. She has presented her research for FEScUE at the Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics and at the National Science Foundation Math-Bio Undergraduate Principal Investigator Meeting.

Currently studying abroad in Chile, Neavin plans to shift her research this summer to human oncology in the laboratory of Mark Brown where she will focus on therapeutic interventions for colorectal, hepatocellular and breast carcinomas.

In addition to her research, Neavin has dedicated her time to mentoring first-year life sciences students at CSU as well as young women in math and science at a local middle school. She plans to become a professor, earning her doctorate in human genetics and focusing her research on human genetic diseases such as Crohn’s disease.

CSU junior Kyle Christianson has been named a 2012 Udall Scholar. Christianson, from Fargo, N.D., is a Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology major in the Warner College of Natural Resources. He plans to pursue a doctorate in fisheries biology and work to address the dire issues facing freshwater ecosystems today.

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation awarded 80 $5,000 scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year. Christianson was chosen from a field of 585 applicants as a future leader on environmental issues.

Christianson has lead community service projects in the Fort Collins area as a student officer in the American Fisheries Society. The projects aimed to get young people outdoors and invested in protecting the environment. He has worked on research for both the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon and with Kevin Bestgen in the Larval Fish Laboratory at CSU that has helped to inform and improve management of aquatic ecosystems. Christianson is advised by Professor Kurt Fausch.  

Katie Dykgreve, a sophomore at CSU, received honorable mention for the 2012 Udall Scholarship. Dykgreve is a restoration ecology major from Helena, Mont. She plans to work in land rehabilitation as a botanist.