Katsiaryna Pleshankova, a recent graduate of the University of Rochester, was awarded a 2010 Jack Kent Cooke Continuing Graduate Scholarship. A transfer student from Monroe Community College, Pleshankova was the recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which provided financial support when she enrolled in Rochester in 2008. As a Continuing Graduate Scholar, Pleshankova will receive funding for the pursuit of a medical degree at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
The national scholarship is supported through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation which provides up to $50,000 each to just 50 students a year. According to its Web site, the foundation is committed to helping students to complete bachelor's degrees. These scholarships are reserved for students who were previously selected as Undergraduate Transfer Scholars.
Pleshankova, a native of Belarus, a small country in Eastern Europe, immigrated to the United States in 2004. She earned an associates degree in liberal arts and sciences from Monroe Community College in 2008. She will graduate from Rochester with a bachelor of arts in biology.
"During my time at Rochester, I have really had the opportunity to explore what it means to be a leader and to help other people learn," said Pleshankova.
She has been an active member of the University's Charles Drew Pre-Health Society, working as the group's community service chair. Through the organization, Pleshankova encouraged her peers to donate their time tutoring refugee students at the Saint's Place in Pittsford. Pleshankova also served as teaching assistant in genetics, organic chemistry, and biochemistry courses.
While at MCC, she was vice president of the college's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, earned a place on the All-New York Academic Team, and received the NYSTAA Scholarship, among other accolades. She was also selected as a delegate the National Model United Nations conference. At Rochester, she was elected to the Golden Key International Honour Society and received the Rochester Area Colleges Outstanding Adult Student Award. During Rochester's commencement ceremonies in May, Pleshankova served as Chief Marshall for the College.
Upon completion of her medical degree, Pleshankova hopes to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology.