2015 Recipients: Top Scholarships and Fellowships

2015 Goldwater Scholars

  • Emily Robitschek

    Emily Robitscheck

    Emily Robitschek is currently a junior at CSU in the Honors Program, majoring in Biochemistry and Anthropology.

    In the 2013, she worked under Dr. Peebles in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department on a project to genetically engineer the cyanobacteria Synechocystis to produce the nutraceutical astaxanthin. The following year, she conducted research with Dr. Diane Ordway, on mice infected with mycobacterial diseases--part of an NIH task order to develop new non-tuberculosis mycobacterial animal models to test novel vaccines and drugs/provide information on the nature of induction of protective immunity, especially related to Mycobacterium abscessus, an emergent pathogen.

    Building off early research experiences at CSU, Emily researched cancer immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine last summer as an intern in the lab of Dr. TC Wu. It was this experience that ignited her passion to dedicate herself to researching a disease that tinges so many lives with fear and loss.

    "I could really see myself making an impact, especially working in collaboration with others. There are a lot of opportunities and brilliant minds all working together to unravel the mysteries of cancer and develop better therapies and strategies to improve the lives of patients and their families."

    Having discovered a passion and an area where her curiosity and drive could potentially help others, Emily conducted research on pancreatic research while studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During this time, she also volunteered at local childrens hospital.

    This spring, Emily is currently taking classes as a visiting student at Johns Hopkins University to learn more about stem cells, public health and cancer biology, and is continuing her work in the lab of Dr. Wu. She was fortunate enough to be the recipient of a Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research, and the American Association for Cancer Research's (AACR) Thomas J Bardos Award, and will be presenting at the AACR 2015 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia this month.

    In addition to research and volunteering, Emily enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, singing, hiking, and spending time outdoors and with her family (she is a triplet). After her program in Argentina ended, she backpacked around South America, snorkeled with the sea lions of the Galapagos Islands, trekked to Machu Pichhu and 4-wheeled across the largest salt flat in the world in Bolivia.

    Emily's ultimate goal is to attain an MPH and a PhD and lead interdisciplinary, collaborative research that combines basic stem cell biology and immunology research with the application of new and innovative technologies like high-throughput screening, personalized medicine, and mathematical models, to alleviate the suffering caused by cancer.

    She plans to come back to CSU in the fall and to apply for a research Fulbright after she graduates and has a paid summer internship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT this summer.

  • Matthew Truelove

    Matthew Truelove

    Matthew Truelove is a Biochemistry major and Molecular Biology minor who plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and research. Thanks to the mentorship of Kelly Santangelo, Matt has become a key individual in the pathology laboratory at CSU's Diagnostic Medicine Center where he researches the effect of obesity on canine biochemical and blood parameters.

    Matt's work will help researchers develop better diagnostic tools for obesity identification and his findings have been presented at the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Summit in Longmont, CO, the Merial-NIH Veterinary Scholars Program National Symposium in Ithaca, NY, and the American Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathologist Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.

    Matt's career aspiration to become a research focused veterinary physician scientist who bridges the gap between human and animal diseases, with a particular focus on obesity.

    A veteran of the United States Navy, Matt has a passion for teamwork and a love for country. He served four years in the US Navy as a Special Forces candidate, surface rescue swimmer, helmsman, and deck rigger and completed two deployments—one in Central America and the other in Southern Europe and Western Africa.

    In his spare time, Matt enjoys traveling, CrossFitting, Skiing, and many more adventurous activities. This spring, Matt is traveling through New Zealand with his fiancé learning about the cultural differences in relation to animal care.

2015 Goldwater Honorable Mentions

  • Mitchell Bordelon

    Mitchell Bordelon

    Mitchell began his research career as a college freshman in the lab of Professor Debbie C. Crans in the Department of Chemistry where he helped study the interactions of anti-cancer drugs with a model membrane system. During the summer of 2013, he interned at a pharmaceutical company, Nexgen Pharma working alongside Senior Chemist Rob Banaszak in the Research and Development department to create in-house methods for quality-control quantification of vitamin and drug tablets.

    The following fall, Mitchell began assisting Professor James R. Neilson in the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Neilson's lab focuses on understanding fundamental structure-property relationships in solid-state materials, so that researchers can expand their understanding of physical phenomena like frustrated magnetism or superconductivity.

    In 2014, Mitchell was awarded a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship to study in Kiel, Germany. For three months, he conducted research on metal-organic frameworks and their possible use in proton conductivity and gas storage applications at Christian-Albrechts-Universität with Professor Norbert Stock and Thomas Homburg.

    Last fall, he returned to Dr. Neilson's lab and has been working with Dr. Neilson and Dr. Kate Ross from the Department of Physics on various projects in frustrated magnetism and surface chemistry in condensed matter materials.

    When Mitchell is not working in a research laboratory or attending classes, he enjoys tutoring general and organic chemistry at CSU's Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT). He likes to spend his weekends in the Colorado mountains road biking (during all seasons) and snowboarding in the winter.

2015 Fulbright Fellowships

  • Leigha Bohn

    Leigha is a cultural anthropology student awaiting graduation in May. She came to Fort Collins from Naperville, Illinois three years ago to study at CSU. Her academic interests include Spanish language studies, Latino immigrant culture and teaching English as a second language. Her passion for Argentina grew when she studied abroad in Buenos Aires her sophomore year.

    In her free time, when she is not working at Trader Joes or studying, she is an avid outdoorswoman who rock climbs, skis and hikes. After graduation she plans to complete her Wilderness First Responder certification and spend as much time in the Colorado outdoors before departing for Argentina next spring.

  • Moria Kent


    Moriah Kent has been an English teacher in some capacity since 2005, when she traveled to Sri Lanka as a tsunami relief aide. After receiving her B.A. in art history, she moved to Japan and worked as an assistant language teacher there through the JET Programme. When she returned to the states, she volunteered assisting an Adult ESL class at her local library. Now, she is wrapping up her Master's degree studies in TEFL/TESL at Colorado State University and teaching English at the Academic English program, INTO CSU.

    In addition to being a full-time graduate student and part-time ESL instructor, she is also a freelance editor at Global Girl Edits. Moriah is honored and excited to have recently been awarded a Fulbright ETA position in Bulgaria for 2015-2016. She is passionate about fostering a global community of exchange and friendship and looks forward to experiencing new cultures and learning new languages as she endeavors to promote positive relations around the world.

  • Rob Musci

    Rob Musci

    25% Italian with a 100% Italian surname, Rob has been fascinated by Italy for as long as he can remember. Intent with becoming a doctor, Rob attended Wake Forest University. While there, he enrolled in Dr. Pete Brubaker's Human Physiology course and became interested in the physiology and health of people.

    Working for Dr. Brubaker, he studied abroad and researched the impact of urban environment on student physical activity in Venice, Italy a city known for romance and its absence of automotive transport in a country known for its pasta.

    Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Rob returned to Venice for six months to work with Dr. Tony Marsh on an intervention designed to improve mobility in older adults and became very interested in the aging process—a project that served as the basis for his Fulbright grant.

    Rob returned to the United States and in the fall of 2013, enrolled in MS in Health and Exercise Sciences at Colorado State University. At CSU, Rob works with Drs. Karyn Hamilton and Ben Miller in the Translational Research on Aging and Chronic Disease Laboratory. The lab is focused on the aging process and the underlying physiology that promote aging as a means of extending the health span of people.

    To marry his love of pasta and physiology, Rob will use his Fulbright grant to return to Venice and study the impact of urban environment on physical activity and disability in older adults . His project will involve studying whether urban environment has an effect on population-wide physical activity and disability in older Venetian adults.

2015 Truman Finalists

  • Jason Sydoriak

    Jason Sydoriak

    Sydoriak, an Economics and Political Science major, is a former Marine who has championed the cause of Veterans affairs in Northern Colorado. He has served as the president of both Front Range Community's Student Veterans Group and CSU's Student Veterans Organization.

    At FRCC, Sydoriak organized the first Veterans Resource Day Fair, a now annual event designed to commemorate fallen soldiers, celebrate veterans, and increase awareness about campus resources. In 2013, he traveled to Washington D.C. with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) to urge a bipartisan group of lawmakers to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act.

    Sydoriak is also a member of ASCSU, the Chair of the city of Fort Collins' Citizen Review Board, and on the editorial board of the Coloradoan. He hopes to attend Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and run for public office.

  • Kalyn Taylor

    Kalyn Taylor

    Taylor, a Soil and Crop Sciences major, is passionate about improving food security, land accessibility, and local food markets. Last spring, she managed CSU's Student Sustainable Farm during the 2014 growing season.

    As manager, she helped increase the farm's volunteer base from 300 to 500, increased the farm's productivity and profits, and worked to ensure its relocation once ground is broken for the new on-campus stadium.

    Upon graduation from CSU, Taylor intends to pursue a PhD in international soils with a concentration in land conservation or security. Her dream is to attain a tenure-track position at a land grant institution like CSU and work with local communities to improve food security.

2015 Udall Scholar

  • Marina Rodriguez

    Marina Rodriquez

    Marina Rodriguez is a Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology major minoring in English and Applied Statistics. She is interested in avian conservation, teaching, and diversifying the natural resource field. She is the co-founder of the CSU chapter of Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and Sustainability (SEEDS), and is also heavily involved in the CSU chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

    Marina has been conducting research on the effect of nutrient availability on nesting birds at high elevation, and hopes to continue with research that will help conserve bird populations. She currently works at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center where she is a lab technician in the Wildlife Genetics department.

    Marina plans to continue on to graduate school and eventually earn her PhD so that she can become a professor and follow her passion for research and education.

2015 Udall Honorable Mention

  • Arielle Quintana

    Arielle Quintana is a proud tribal member of Cochiti Pueblo, a small American Indian reservation located in New Mexico. In the summer of 2011, the Los Conchas fire burned and destroyed over 156,000 acres of land, including her people's ancestral domain. The Los Conchas fire was devastating to many tribes and communities, and caused numerous environmental and health impacts.

    After witnessing the destruction of the Los Conchas fire, Arielle's goal became to attain education that will help her restore damaged lands, specifically those damaged by forest fires within my reservation's jurisdictional and ancestral domain.

    She is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Restoration Ecology with a minor in Conservation Biology. Arielle is attending CSU to gain knowledge and experience within post-fire mitigation techniques and practices, so that she may help her tribe, and surrounding pueblo communities, restore damaged lands, and reestablish healthy, sustainable habitats and ecosystems in the Southwest.