Thursday, October 23, 2003
OU student named Homeland Security Scholar
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
Oakland University senior chemistry major Jennifer Froelich of Macomb was one of four Michigan students recently selected to be a U.S. Homeland Security Scholar. The Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), supports the development and mentoring of the next generation of scientists as they study ways to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage and recovery efforts from attacks that occur.
Froelich also is a two-time Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program (USRP) award recipient. The awards help support Froelich’s research with Assistant Professor of Biology Gabrielle Stryker and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Xiangqun Zeng toward the creation of a biosensor that can detect the presence of hazardous biological or chemical agents. As part of the Homeland Security Scholars program, Froelich will complete an 8-10 week summer internship at a federal laboratory yet to be determined.
“I’ve learned that hands-on research is so much more important than reading a textbook,” Froelich said. “The internship will give me a lot more experience – I’m hoping to be assigned to a chemistry laboratory so I can combine that experience with what I’ve learned in OU’s biology lab. My career goal is to become a forensic scientist.”
After graduating and completing her internship, Froelich will pursue a degree combining chemistry and forensic science, which may lead to either a master’s or doctorate degree.
"This is an incredible opportunity for Jennifer and we are so pleased that she was selected from more than 2,500 applicants to serve in this program," said Virinder Moudgil, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. "The Oakland University community commends Jennifer for her ambition and commitment to serve through this program."
The Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program is open to all U.S. students interested in pursuing scientific and technological innovations that can be applied to the DHS mission.
"We firmly believe that this program will produce talented scientists and engineers that will play a vital role in securing our nation against terrorism," said Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Dr. Charles McQueary. "This first group of scholars and fellows will be the foundation that we can build upon in the coming years that will specifically focus on science and homeland security issues."
Funding for this program will be up to $2 million for fiscal year 2003. In addition, DHS has proposed increasing its funding for fiscal year 2003, with a commitment to increase the number of scholarship and fellowship awards for next year.