University of Rochester senior Colleen Kellenberger has been named a 2009 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellow. She is one of 200 NDSEG Fellowship winners selected from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants. The fellowship will provide three years of funding as Kellenberger pursues a doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kellenberger, of Worthington, Ohio, will graduate from Rochester with two degrees, a bachelor of science in chemistry and a bachelor of science in biological sciences: molecular genetics. Her interest in chemical biology began in high school, after hearing a lecture on stem cell research. She has spent her undergraduate career working in several labs, gaining experience in fields such as biochemistry, organic synthesis, and structural biology. Last summer, Kellenberger conducted research at the Institute for Bio-Organic Chemistry in Jülich, Germany through the DAAD-German Academic Exchange Service/RISE (Research in Science & Engineering) Program.
"I feel research is where I can make the biggest impact," says Kellenberger of her academic interests and research experience.
As active in the classroom as she is in the laboratory, Kellenberger has been a teaching assistant in eight classes over five semesters. "Being a T.A. really cements my understanding of the material," she says. "I love to teach and am inclined to go into academia." But she is leaving her future career plans open and hopes her time at graduate school will help her decide.
In addition to her studies, Kellenberger is the principal violist in the University of Rochester's Chamber Orchestra, plays in the University's String Quartet, and takes primary viola lessons at the Eastman School of Music. She was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and has received numerous awards in chemistry. A graduate of Thomas Worthington High School, she is the daughter of Kathleen Gallant and Gregg and Rebecca Kellenberger.
The NDSEG Fellowship awards individuals of outstanding ability and aptitude for pursuit of a doctoral degree in engineering and science fields that may be of importance to national defense needs. Fellowships cover full tuition and fees and provide an annual stipend of more than $30,000.