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New STEM scholarship helps two Oconee students

2021-02-19-MacKensey Clark
MacKensey Clark, a freshman pursuing a degree in general studies health and fitness, was one of two students to receive a scholarship from the Lois and Lucy Lampkin Foundation. The funds are designated to enrich the experience of first-generation science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students on UNG's Oconee Campus through access to high-impact practices, specifically undergraduate research.

In the 2019-20 academic year, thousands of institutional scholarships were awarded to University of North Georgia (UNG) students. This year, another one with a very specific designation was added to the mix.

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Jill Schulze, interim associate dean, and former Development Officer Donna Brazzell, the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) received $1,000 from the Lois and Lucy Lampkin Foundation to enrich the experience of first-generation science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students on UNG's Oconee Campus through access to high-impact practices, specifically undergraduate research. The funds will be divided between two CSM students: one first-generation STEM student who will conduct undergraduate research and one experienced STEM student who will serve as a peer mentor.

"This arrangement will actually provide rich learning experiences for both the undergraduate researcher and the peer mentor," said Dr. John Leyba, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

The two students receiving funds from the scholarship are MacKensey Clark, a freshman pursuing a degree in general studies health and fitness, and Julia Raybon, a sophomore pursuing a degree in chemistry.

Clark said the scholarship helped pay for her tuition, which allowed her to decrease her hours at her part-time job and focus more time on her undergraduate research project.

"I really like getting the hands-on experience in the lab," said the 19-year-old from Bethlehem, Georgia. "As an undergraduate, to do research now is a big thing. If I choose to get a graduate degree, I'm going to have to do research, and this will help."

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