Eight Olin College Students Named First Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars

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Eight students have been named Olin’s first Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Research Scholars.

'I believe this opportunity will provide them with research and mentorship experiences that may well transform their future career options and choices,' said Rebecca Christianson, project director and assistant professor of applied physics at Olin.

The program is funded by a grant made to Olin College in 2011 from the Henry Luce Foundation of New York City, through its Clare Boothe Luce Program. The awards provide stipends and other support to women students at Olin to pursue research with a faculty advisor. Over the three-year grant period, up to 24 Olin women will receive support under the program. Olin’s first Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars are:

  •     Victoria Coleman ’15, who will work with Associate Professor Andrew Bennett on a control system for an autonomous kayak;
  •     Sharon Grimshaw ’15, who will work with Professor Lynn Andrea Stein on design for assistive technologies;
  •     Emily Guthrie ’16, who will work with Assistant Professor Jose Oscar Mur-Miranda on wireless power transfer;
  •     Mary Morse ’15, who will work with Assistant Professor Lawrence Neeley on models for 3D rapid prototyping;
  •     Sophia Utset-Ward ’15, who will also work with Professor Bennett on a control system for an autonomous kayak;
  •     Mariko Thorbecke ’16, who will work with Associate Professor Benjamin Linder on sustainable building technologies;
  •     Annie (Qun) Zeng ’15, who will work with Assistant Professors Aaron Hoover and Lawrence Neeley on researching rapid prototyping instrumentation; and
  •     Morgan Zhu ’15, who will work with Associate Professor Debbie Chachra and Laboratory Specialist Matt Neal on the mechanical properties of biopolymers.

“I am delighted to see our first group of Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars named,” said Rebecca Christianson, project director and assistant professor of applied physics at Olin. “I believe this opportunity will provide them with research and mentorship experiences that may well transform their future career options and choices. As the first Olin students to receive this honor, they are playing a pioneering role and setting a high standard for student research activities at Olin College, which prides itself on empowering women and men for success in science and engineering.”

Each award will provide a stipend for summer research and housing, plus an additional stipend and four course credits for research continued through the following academic year. Awardees also have access to additional funds to cover research, conference and travel costs. Seven of the grant recipients will begin their research this summer; one started in January, and will continue her work over the summer and during the fall semester.

Since its first grants in 1989, the Clare Boothe Luce Program has become the single most significant source of private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering. Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987), the wife of Time Magazine co-founder Henry R. Luce, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. Ambassador to Italy and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. Through her bequest establishing this program, she aimed to encourage women to enter, study, graduate and teach in science, mathematics and engineering. The program is part of the New York-based Henry Luce Foundation.

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