Two CSUSB students named recipients of Professor Richard Fehn Memorial Scholarship
Office of Strategic Communication
In the photo above, from left: Anthony Metcalf, professor of biological sciences; Daniel Nickerson, assistant professor of biological sciences; Mike Chao, department chair of biological sciences; Monique Quinn, biology graduate student; Aeriel Vanluesauls, undergraduate biology student; Sastry Pantula, dean, College of Natural Sciences; and Paul Orwin, professor of biological sciences. Photo: Corinne McCurdy/CSUSB
Monique Quinn, Cal State San Bernardino graduate biology student, and Aeriel Vanluesauls, undergraduate biology student, were named the recipients of the Professor Richard Fehn Memorial Scholarship.
Both were honored before a biology seminar featuring CSUSB alumna and former student of Richard Fehn, Stacey Nerkowski, on May 10. This is the first year two scholarship winners have been selected.
“The purpose of this award is to recognize students who have done outstanding research as an undergraduate student or graduate student in memory of Professor Richard Fehn, who was a former faculty member here who highly valued student research in the department,” said Mike Chao, professor and department chair of the biological sciences department.
Quinn and Vanluesauls each received a plaque during the ceremony. Their names were also included on a plaque that hangs in the biology building.
Quinn, who also received her undergraduate degree in biology from CSUSB, began her research journey studying yeast molecular biology with Daniel Nickerson, assistant professor of biology, as her major adviser for her master’s thesis.
“I love doing research with yeast and with microscopy, and there are a bunch of parts that are fantastic, but my favorite would probably be when I encounter results that are unexpected. Even though it means I was incorrect initially, it always gives me the opportunity to learn more about my research and grow as a research scientist,” Quinn said. “I also really love working in microscopy. I have been able to use the fluorescence microscope in my own lab and the College of Natural Sciences scanning electron microscope, and both are fun for me to use.”
“Monique is a talented, curious, self-motivated, hard-working and delightful scholar, certainly among the most consistently excellent students in her cohort of CSUSB biology majors, and now one of the strongest in her graduate cohort,” Nickerson said in his nomination letter.
“Monique joined my lab as a master’s student almost two years ago, and serving as her mentor is one of the luckiest opportunities I have had. Monique has been cheerfully dedicated to her training and advancing her research project while also growing into a strong mentor and research team leader. Monique is an embodiment of the joy in research and high standards set by the Fehn Award.”
Quinn plans on pursuing her doctorate in either molecular biology or in microscopy.
Vanluesauls started researching in Paul Orwin’s laboratory, professor of biological sciences, where she studied antimicrobial compound production in bacteria.
“This is a fairly advanced topic in biochemistry, but she proved quite capable of engaging with this material,” Orwin said in his nomination letter. “At the end of the directed reading experience, Aeriel produced a term paper that is written comparably to the literature reviews that I read as a graduate mentor. Her ability to digest, understand, and synthesize the information in primary literature was notable compared to her undergraduate peers.”
“I just really love being in the lab!” Vanluesauls said. “Doing an experiment, collecting the data and finding something significant is really exciting. It’s always really cool to be able to contribute to the larger pool of human knowledge.”
Vanluesauls plans to pursue a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Southern California.
Richard Fehn, who died in 2007, was known as a caring and dedicated instructor, and for his passion for teaching and his commitment to student research. He mentored at least 87 undergraduate and graduate students and he continued to mentor those graduates as they pursued their research, published their work and moved into fellowship positions in their fields. He also served as chair of the biology department and was named CSUSB’s Outstanding Professor in 2004.
Fehn graduated from CSUSB with a bachelor’s degree in 1974 and a master’s degree in 1978, both in biology. He received his doctorate degree in animal physiology from the University of Arizona.
For more information about the Professor Richard Fehn Memorial Scholarship, visit the Department of Biology’s website.