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Drake ’21 RISEs to Top in International Scholarship Competition

Catherine Drake
Author: 
Trina Vue ’20 Communications & Marketing
Publication date: 
March 15, 2019
  • Catherine Drake '21, Lindenhurst, Illinois, was awarded a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship to support a Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) position
  • She will spend 12 weeks in Germany researching osteoporosis drugs.
  • Drake says UMN Morris's undergraduate research program is what helped her gain an advantage in the competition.

Catherine Drake '21, Lindenhurst, Illinois, was awarded a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship to support a Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) position this summer. She will spend 12 weeks at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg of Applied Sciences researching osteoporosis drugs.

The DAAD RISE program is designed to offer undergraduate students the chance to complete a summer research internship at top German universities and research institutions. The program focuses on international exchange with an emphasis on providing STEM students the unique opportunity of working directly under the supervision of doctoral students.

Intersecting Interests

Drake was attracted to the program because it provided her a way to look at the intersections of her interests: research, medicine, and German. Motivated to bridge the intersections between her interests, the program provided her this chance.

"One of the values of being involved in an internship like this is that it's a great opportunity to explore a new culture, especially one that is foreign to me," Drake says. "And it's a wonderful way to continue my education in both biology and research."

Drake says UMN Morris's accessible undergraduate research program is what helped her gain an advantage over her peers. As a freshman, she was able to engage in undergraduate research with a biology professor and develop her interest in research and medicine.

"Researching in my freshman year prepared me to go into this project and think about what we're trying to do and to accomplish our goals," states Drake. "This university has a lot of availability for students to research with the professor, without a graduate student liaison."

Drake was one of only 300 students among North American, British, and Irish applicants to earn a scholarship for this experience. According to Professor of History and Coordinator for National and International Fellowships Jennifer Deane, Drake's accomplishments exemplify the educational value UMN Morris offers.

"Catherine is a wonderfully representative UMN Morris student in many ways, and especially her multidisciplinary interests, academic achievement, and drive to expand her horizons and challenge herself," says Deane. "Her success with the DAAD RISE application is a terrific illustration of UMN Morris's educational value—namely, that our students experience a high-quality liberal arts curriculum at an affordable public tuition rate."

The Road Ahead

Though not sure what her future may hold, Drake expresses interest in attending either medical school or graduate school. By participating in a fellowship such as this, it gives her a chance to explore her potential future options.

"My particular interests lie in the intersection of medicine and research, so I'm using this opportunity to explore which one is right for me."

DAAD RISE at UMN Morris

The DAAD RISE scholarship and program are administered at UMN Morris through the Academic Center for Enrichment. To learn more, visit ace.morris.umn.edu.