Chad Ungarean Named Beckman Scholar at Allegheny College: Program Supports Research with Faculty Mentors

May 7, 2013 — Allegheny College has named Chad Ungarean from Hopewell, Pa., a Beckman Scholar. He will be working with faculty mentor Shaun Murphree, professor of chemistry, on the project “Synthesis of Anti-Fouling Furan Derivatives.” Ungarean is a biochemistry major with a minor in history.

A 2010 graduate of Hopewell High School, he is the son of Brenda Kostial and Eugene Ungarean.

Allegheny was one of only 11 colleges and universities nationwide to receive a Beckman Scholars Program award last year in support of student research.

The $77,200 award supports four students during three years as they conduct research in chemistry, biochemistry and biology. Selected as sophomores or juniors, the students conduct research with faculty members full time during two summers and part time during the intervening school year.

In addition to providing student stipends, the award includes funding for related supplies and travel. The foundation hosts an annual research symposium for the program’s student scholars and their faculty mentors each summer at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, California.

The college’s first two Beckman Scholars, selected in 2012, are seniors Abigael Dishler, from Baden, Pa., who has been working with faculty mentor Marty Serra, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Michael Vlah, from Ellwood City, Pa., who has been working with faculty mentor Scott Wissinger, professor of biology and environmental science. David Statman, professor of physics and chemistry, also is serving as a Beckman Scholar mentor.

Allegheny’s Beckman Scholars join a large community of Allegheny student researchers. Nearly 100 Allegheny students conduct research with faculty each summer, presenting their work to the campus research community and other guests during a weekly research series. In addition, many students co-author papers in peer-reviewed publications with their faculty mentors and accompany them to regional and national conferences to present their work.

Colleges and universities have to be invited to apply for The Beckman Scholars Program award. Typically, about 150 institutions submit applications in response to the invitation. The program was established in 1997 by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Its purpose is to “stimulate, encourage and support research activities by exceptionally talented undergraduate students at our nation’s universities and colleges; young people who ultimately will become prominent leaders in their scientific and professional pursuits.”