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Bowie State University Student Wins Full NIH Scholarship, Research Opportunity

September 24, 2013

Symone Jordan to Complete Service with NIH Scientists

(Bowie, Md.) – Sept. 24, 2013 – A Bowie State University biology student with a desire to increase healthcare access for minority communities has received a full scholarship from the National Institutes of Health to complete her senior year and conduct research with NIH scientists after graduation.

Symone Jordan’s extensive research experience and excellent academic record landed her the opportunity to be selected for the NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program, which provides competitive scholarships to students committed to research careers in biomedical, behavioral, and health fields. The scholarship provides up to $20,000 for Jordan’s tuition and related living expenses for the 2013-14 academic year.

After completing her bachelor’s degree in May 2014, Jordan, of Accokeek, Md., will work for a year as a research trainee with the nation’s medical research agency and contribute to studying some of the most important discoveries to improve health and hopefully save lives. In summer 2014, she must also work as a NIH research employee for 10 weeks, while paired with a researcher and postdoctoral fellow. During that time, she will participate in specialized training to prepare for full-time NIH employment.

Jordan eventually plans to pursue a medical and Ph.D. dual degree program studying infectious diseases or genetics, with the goal of becoming a reconstructive surgeon – she wants to continue conducting research while she practices medicine. As a doctor, she wants to provide access to high-quality healthcare to individuals from underserved, minority communities. She is also deeply committed to learning how to treat diseases disproportionately impacting African Americans, such as prostate cancer.

“That is definitely one difference I can make: just being the doctor who’s willing to work with people who are typically not worked with, especially in an area where there is a health disparity,” she said.

From as early as she can remember, Jordan has wanted to work in the medical field. Professors at Bowie State opened her eyes to the career options available to her by partnering on research projects – one semester, she worked with Bowie State’s Dr. Alan Anderson to study the antibacterial properties of manuka honey. She has also presented her work at numerous conferences and even spent summers conducting research.

Jordan’s drive to succeed comes from a desire to be a positive example of a Bowie State University graduate. “Hopefully, one day, I can be that student that my professors are proud of,” she said.

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Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The University places special emphasis on the science, technology, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit the website at www.bowiestate.edu.