Senior Alyssa Huebner Wins Two National Scholarships
LAKELAND (August 28, 2009) — Florida Southern senior Alyssa Huebner is having a very big week.
As an orientation leader, she came back to campus just in time to learn that the prestigious National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship that she was awarded last year has been renewed. She will receive $20,000 through the scholarship program, enough to cover her costs for her final year at FSC.
A few days later, Alyssa, who is serving as president of FSC's Omicron Delta Kappa circle this year, was awarded one of just 13 national ODK Foundation Scholarships. ODK is a national leadership honor society that recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership, and exemplary character. Next summer, Alyssa also will serve as assistant program director for ODK's signature training program, "Campus Leaders Today, Community Leaders Tomorrow."
Over the summer, Alyssa interned at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, as one of only 14 students nationwide selected for the NIH scholarship program. She worked alongside neuroscientists on research into a gene that appears to cause malformation of the cochlea. Problems with inner-ear development can cause deafness.
"The ear is a really unique organ. Because this research area is so highly specialized, we were able to track down genes and how a deformity changes all of the features of the ear," she says.
Because her scholarship was renewed, she will return to the NIH next summer as an intern and then will spend two years there as a post-baccalaureate fellow. After that, she plans to attend graduate school, perhaps to pursue a masters degree in public health.