2018 Beck Fellows David Quispe and Sakurah Fisher

2018 Beck Fellows David Quispe and Sakurah Fisher

Sakurah Fisher, Port Arthur junior, and David Quispe, La Porte junior, were named the 2018 David J. Beck Fellows at a reception Nov. 20 in  Gray Library.

Also named were the three finalists for the 2018 Presidential Summer Fellows. They include Emily McCall, Orange junior, Margaret Kay-Alana Turner, Lumberton senior, and Amanda Warner, Orange junior.

The David J. Beck Fellowship is an opportunity in which Fellows receive one year of all school expenses covered including $10,000 in funding to pursue a summer project. The Presidential Summer Fellowship grants up to $10,000 in funding for a summer research project to the remaining top finalists who applied for the Beck Fellowship.

Fisher, who is majoring in psychology with a minor in biology, is a member of the Reaud Honors College and is involved with many clubs and organizations at Lamar.

“It’s still surreal and shocking for me, because this is a humbling experience and I’m truly excited and honored for this opportunity,” she said.

Fisher plans to spend the summer in New York, as a research assistant at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for psychiatric research.

“I’ll be studying non-invasive brain stimulations on impaired subcortical networks, or brain networking, in patients with schizophrenia from both the Kline Institute as well as the Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan, New York,” she said.

Fisher hopes that her research will help individuals with schizophrenia to normalize themselves to a more functional level in society.

“I decided to choose schizophrenic patients because they are an underrepresented group in our society, and I feel like they are individuals who have lost their voice,” she said.

Quispe is a double major in electrical engineering and mathematics, a member of the Reaud Honors College, and is involved in LU’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Student Chapter.

“I feel excited, but I also feel a little calm at the same time — excited but calm,” he said. “I’ve been to Arizona (for research) before and I’m most excited about the ability to be efficient in a lab I’m familiar with.”

Quispe will be return to Arizona State University next summer for his fellowship. His plan is to study a specific type of solar cell called a transparent conductive oxide layer or TCO to hopefully expand the variety of materials available for construction of the cells.

“Specifically, my long-term goal is to try and provide underdeveloped countries an efficient method of generating and distributing electricity,” he said. “I see the potential that solar energy has, especially from last summer when I was in Arizona.”

At the ceremony, 2017 Beck Fellows Natalie Sfeir and Dillon Nicholsen each presented reports on their summer experiences. Sfeir had traveled Europe and the United States and studied different communal efforts to cope with dementia. Nicholsen stayed in France and studied Critical Theory while translating Marxist texts.

The David J. Beck Fellowships reward outstanding academic achievement and allow top students to further challenge themselves with unique opportunities for undergraduate research and creative study.

For more information visit the fellowship’s webpage at www.lamar.edu/ forms/studentsbeck-fellowships.html

Story by Ian Rye, UP contributor

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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