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Celine Joiris

College: Macaulay Honors College | Hunter College
Awards: Goldwater Scholarship, 2011

Using Brain Power To Focus on Neuroscience

Celine Joiris, of the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, is one of four CUNY juniors in 2011 to win highly competitive Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, the premier federally funded undergraduate scholarship to encourage graduate study in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, established by Congress, awarded 275 scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year to U.S. sophomores and juniors. They were selected from a field of 1,095 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by their colleges and universities. Virtually all intend to earn a PhD. The one- and two-year scholarships cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 a year. Many Goldwater Scholars have gone on to win prestigious post-graduate fellowships, including 77 Rhodes Scholarships (including four in 2011), 108 Marshall Awards and 98 Churchill Scholarships.

Joiris, also a Horace W. Goldsmith scholar, plans on pursuing a PhD in neuroscience. She is majoring in psychology and concentrating in neuroscience. She received a Harcourt Fellowship for undergraduate science research this spring. She studied the effects of stress on kinase Mz, a protein linked to learning and memory, under Hunter Professor Peter Serrano and a collaborating lab at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. At Johns Hopkins University last summer, she researched neural systems. She now studies with Dr. Michael Long at the NYU Smilow Neuroscience Center, examining the neural mechanisms that govern the timing required for intricate motor skills, using the song of the zebra finch as her model.