LEXINGTON, Kentucky (April 29, 2022) — Gretchen Ruschman, a junior at the University of Kentucky, has been selected to participate in the Science and Engineering Research Internship (RISE) program through the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD). Ruschman is majoring in agricultural and medical biotechnology at the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and studying at the UK Lewis Honors College.
DAAD’s RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. Internships give every student the opportunity to do research at one of Germany’s top universities or research institutions. About 300 students attend each summer.
Ruschman will be located at the Universität zu Lübeck in Lübeck, Germany. The objective of his research project is to characterize the bacteria relevant to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to better understand the factors that influence the evolution of the disease on the bacterial side.
“I am deeply passionate about this research because it will produce clinical results that will directly impact people with inflammatory bowel disease,” Ruschman said. “The internship will give me the opportunity to combine my growing passion for biomedical research with my academic background in microbiology.”
While in the UK, Ruschman was involved in research in the Department of Horticulture and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is an Undergraduate Research Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research and President of the Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity. She participated in the Global Brigades Side by Side in Ecuador and was recently named a Gaines Fellow through the Gaines Center for the Humanities.
Daughter of Carroll and Eric Ruschman of Lexington, she plans to attend the University of Kentucky College of Medicine after graduating in May 2024.
Ruschman thanks Assistant Professor Carlos Rodriguez Lopez, Ph.D., and Research Specialist Roberta Magnani, Ph.D., both from the Department of Horticulture, for serving as mentors during his time in the UK. Rodriguez Lopez is his current research mentor.
“His continued commitment to my development as a scientist and a student has shaped how, as a future scientist, I hope to impact others,” she said.
Students interested in applying for the RISE Award should contact Pat Whitlow, Director of the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, which helps current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni apply for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a non-governmental foundation or government agency) outside of the university. These awards honor outstanding students across the country. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to start working with the office, located in the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, well before the scholarship deadline. Staff are available for appointment to discuss opportunities for the 2021-2022 academic year and beyond.