Skip navigation
Michigan State University masthead graphic
Make a Difference Giving To Michigan State University

Leader of the Pack

"My undergraduate experience has been enhanced by the opportunity to do research which makes me feel like I’m getting the absolute most out of my time at MSU.”

Sara MacLachlan

“I have been interested in animals for my whole life and when asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ in second grade, I already knew I wanted to be a zoologist. When applying to college, I looked at many universities, but something about MSU struck me and my decision was made. My undergraduate experience has been enhanced by the opportunity to do research which makes me feel like I’m getting the absolute most out of my time at MSU.”

Sarah MacLachlan, a zoology junior from Pittsburgh, Pa. was one of three MSU students selected to the first cohort of MSU Beckman Scholars in 2014.

Established in 1997 by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the Beckman Scholars Program provides scholarships to advance the education, research training and personal development of select students in chemistry, biochemistry, and the biological and medical sciences. MSU was selected as a host institution for the 2014 Beckman Scholars Program.

As a Beckman Scholar, Sarah received two years of support to cover training including a stipend of $6,000 for full time summer research and $4,000 for research during the academic year. Scholars also receive funding for travel to a national research society meeting and to attend the National Beckman Scholar Meeting.

This year, Sarah worked in MSU’s BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action with Kay E. Holekamp, professor of zoology, to study hyena and lion interactions.

“We hope to understand complex cooperative behavior and how emotions and communication are involved,” Sarah says. “Once we thoroughly understand the behavior in the hyena model, we can apply our knowledge to help create therapies for people with cooperative, communicative or emotional problems.”

Beckman mentors, like Holekamp, are preparing scholars like Sarah for a modern research environment that requires teamwork and multidisciplinary expertise. These experiences will make the scholars strong candidates for graduate and professional programs.

“Engaging students in research as early as possible, is very important for their education,” says R. James Kirkpatrick, College of Natural Science dean. “Science is about making new discoveries, and these outstanding students will benefit greatly from the Beckman Program.”

For more information on supporting the College of Natural Science, contact Associate Director of Development Karen Wenk at wenk@msu.edu or by calling (517) 353-5962.

Author: Lois Furry

 

WHERE YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE