College names new group of Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars

Five young women will receive research funding for two years

04 April, 2014 by John Hopkins

WOOSTER, Ohio – Five Wooster students have been named this year's Clare Booth Luce Research Scholars. Kimberly Carter, Kiera Dobbs, Laura Sherer, Maggie Lankford, and Sarah McGrath were selected on the basis of their outstanding academic credentials, leadership potential, and demonstrated interest in pursuing research in the physical sciences with a faculty mentor.

Carter, a sophomore chemistry major from Wooster, Ohio, has already worked in the labs of several faculty members, and has established a "Women of STEM" group on campus, dedicated to encouraging women in science fields. A varsity tennis player and active community volunteer, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

Dobbs, also a sophomore, is a mathematics major from Wilmington, Del. She began working last summer with two Wooster faculty on knot theory, and plans to pursue a graduate degree in mathematics or a related field. She is active on campus and plays flute in the Scot band.

Sherer is a first-year student from Milford Center, Ohio, who plans a career in biochemical research, and credits her passion for science to her grandfather, a high school chemistry teacher. Sherer plays volleyball for the Fighting Scots and volunteers at the Village Network, an inpatient and outpatient behavioral health organization for at-risk youth.

Lankford is a sophomore physics major who would like to pursue graduate work in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or materials science. The Lebanon, Ohio, native is active in the college's physics club, as well as her local youth group.

McGrath, a first-year geology major, inherited her interest from her parents, both of whom are geologists, and hopes to become a professor of geology herself. Her love of the outdoors comes from her experience as a Girl Scout and camp counselor.

The Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars program supports female science majors pursuing research projects in the physical sciences. The program honors Clare Boothe Luce, playwright, journalist, U.S. ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. Luce was a powerful advocate for women, and in the bequest for this program sought "to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach" in science, mathematics and engineering.

Each Clare Boothe Luce scholar is provided funding for two full years of research, including stipends during the academic year and the summer, funds for travel to conferences, and funds for research expenses. The scholars also take part in cohort activities and mentoring programs for girls in science.

The College of Wooster is America's premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student's own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.