President McGuire announced the award of five prestigious Clare Boothe Luce Scholarships to science majors at Trinity Washington University in fall 2019. The 2019-20 new Luce Scholars are: Jessica Bonilla ’20, biology; Amy Bevel ’21, biology; Jada Hampton ’21, biology; Kelly Lee ’20, biology; and Zakiyyah Jones ’20, biochemistry.

“These talented students were nominated by our science faculty and approved for scholarships by the Clare Boothe Luce Program officers at the Henry Luce Foundation where the Luce Program is administered,” said President McGuire. “Trinity is one of thirteen universities named in the bequest of Mrs. Luce that created a fund to support professorships and scholarships for talented women in the sciences. Mrs. Luce was a renowned figure in journalism, politics, diplomacy, foreign affairs and philanthropy. Please join me in extending our hearty congratulations to these exceptional students!”

Read more about these students and their internships and scholarly interests below. Learn more about studying STEM at Trinity.

Photo of scholars.

Clare Boothe Luce Scholars, left to right: Jada Hampton, Zakiyyah Jones, Jessica Bonilla, Kelly Lee, Ami-Ra Bevel.

Jessica Bonilla ’20, biology:  As an undergraduate researcher in engineering at Catholic University, under funding from NASA DC Spacegrant, senior biology major Jessica Bonilla worked on a project that combined her biology interests with the laboratory’s expertise in carbon nanofiber-based detectors. Her work after only one summer was so successful that her mentor, Dr. Jandro Abot, chose to grow a new research arm in developing technologies for the detection of biologically-relevant molecules. He also asked Jessica to return to the laboratory for a second summer of research.

Ami Bevel ’21, biology, demonstrates a strong interest in pursuing a career in a scientific field and is determined to incorporate her interest in scientific research to correcting inequities stemming from lack of diversity that exist in research focus, funding, and applications. She is committed to working in a field of scientific research that will promote the advancement of social justice. She was selected as a NASA scholar for which she participated in a summer internship. She conducted research with a professor of education at Howard University to develop culturally relevant science curriculum to broaden participation in science at the K-12 level to support a Maryland county school system in need of science education reform.

Jada Hampton ’21, biology, consistently demonstrates excellence in her science classes at Trinity. She is inquisitive and attentive and asks questions to demonstrate her desire to learn and make connections between scientific concepts. She  demonstrates thoughtfulness and creativity in the lab and shows a strong affinity towards applying the scientific process to answering questions. She has demonstrated an interest in a broad range of scientific topics and is currently working to acquire an internship opportunity to gain experience in research to prepare her for a career in a scientific field.

Kelly Lee ’20, biology, is a senior with an interest in cancer and neuroscience. In the summer of 2018 she participated in undergraduate research at the University of Connecticut and presented her project, investigating whether an increase in ApoC-III leads to brain inflammation, at the 2018 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. This past summer she was chosen for the Summer Neuroscience Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the University of Vermont and is currently applying to local conferences to present her current project and findings.

Zakiyyah Jones ’20, biochemistry, has applied for, received and completed two competitive summer undergraduate research experiences in the Chemical Sciences. She enjoys the challenge and reward of solving complex scientific problems. She has presented her research at several local and national meetings and has received praise and recognition for her scholarship in research. In addition to her research experience, she serves as a peer tutor and the president of the math and science club on campus. She plans to continue to use her leadership skills and scientific prowess as she pursues a doctoral degree in chemical or material sciences.