Occidental Junior Wins Beckman Scholarship
Mark Paulsen ’10, a chemistry major from Rolling Hills Estates, has won a Beckman Scholars Program award, one of the country’s most prestigious undergraduate research scholarships.
He is the 10th Occidental student to win the honor since the program started in 1997.
“I feel honored to receive this award given the competition that I was up against,” Paulsen says. The award allots a stipend and supply funds of $17,600 for 15 months – two summers and the intervening academic year – of independent research with a faculty mentor. He will be working with Carl F. Braun Professor of Chemistry Don Deardorff on enantioselective synthesis of isafagomine—manipulating biologically active molecules that have medicinal applications.
“Mark’s special strength is an unparalleled laboratory work ethic,” Deardorff says. “He confidently sets aggressive work schedules and pursues them with unyielding dedication. I believe it is an inborn determination to succeed that ultimately sustains his scientific stamina over the many long hours spent in the lab.”
Undergraduate research is one of Occidental’s signature programs. Recipient of a 1998 National Science Foundation Integration of Research and Education Award – the Undergraduate Research Program was cited as one of the country’s best in a 2001 study of undergraduate research sponsored by a consortium of private foundations. Each of Occidental’s previous Beckman Scholars has gone on to graduate study; many have earned or are pursuing Ph.Ds or medical degrees.
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation makes grants to non-profit research institutions to promote research in chemistry and the life sciences, and particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science. The Beckman Scholars Program provides scholarships that contribute to advancing the education, research training and personal development of select students in chemistry, biochemistry, and the biological and medical sciences.