Ashley Hawkins recognized by Natl. Science Foundation

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Ashley Hawkins, a third year University of Kentucky Chemical Engineering graduate student from Milton, was selected as one of 24 finalists in the 2011 National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Poster Competition. As a finalist, she traveled to NSF in Washington, D.C. to present her poster last week. Ashley was further recognized as one of the top 10 posters, which was the top honor awarded. This is a great recognition of her research accomplishments. Ashley’s area of research is biodegradation, hydrogels, tissue engineering and drug delivery.  To view and hear Ashley and the others presentations visit http://www.igert.org click on 2011 poster competition finalists.

The NSFG 2011 IGERT competition featured 135 presenters, each nominated from a different IGERT Ph.D. program. The competition consisted of two parts. An online portion took place from May 3-6 in which poster presenters loaded a PDF of their poster along with an audio file to the IGERT.org website. Judges submitted questions and held a four-hour chat session to allow community interaction with the presenters. The work presented often transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries and addresses complex research problems of significant scientific and societal importance. The presenters had been asked to make their posters intelligible to a general, scientifically literate audience.

Of the 135 posters that were presented in the online format 24 students were selected as finalists through either the judges’ scores or community choice.  Finalists were invited to participate in a poster session held at the National Science Foundation building in Arlington, Virginia.  During the one day session finalists interacted with IGERT alumni and NSF program officials to discuss career opportunities and advancement.  During the day the finalists once again presented their posters, this time in person and were judged by NSF staff members. Of the 24 finalists the top 10 were chosen to receive a $3,000.00 travel award and the remaining 14 received a $1,000.00 award.