Paine College is pleased to announce that student Valerie Hollimon was selected by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as one of its 2016 scholars. The ACS Scholars Program awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to underrepresented minority students who want to enter the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields. The ACS Scholars Program was created in 1994 by the National Science Foundation.
Hollimon, a Sophomore Chemistry major and Biology minor, is one of 144 ACS scholars nationwide selected this year. She is one of the eight students from Georgia and only student selected from the Augusta area. “I was ecstatic when I heard that I received the scholarship,” said Hollimon, “It was one of the best moments of my life.”
Her love for Chemistry began in high school. It was then that she decided to major in Chemistry in College. “There are numerous opportunities in the STEM field” said Hollimon, “Math plays a huge part in our everyday lives. There is a large amount of research that goes into helping improve the way we live.”
As member of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, or MAPS which represents underrepresented minorities in the medical field, Hollimon said that these types of programs allow more people to know about what happens in STEM and she hopes that more students will be inspired to explore Chemistry and Biology.
Dr. Xiaoning Zhang, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, mentors Hollimon. “I am very glad to serve as a mentor for Ms. Hollimon,” said Dr. Zhang, “The high quality education of Paine College not only prepared Ms. Hollimon to win those honors but also provide the skills and experience that help her to pursue college majors in the chemical sciences and, following graduation from college, to pursue career paths in the chemical sciences.”
In addition to this award, Hollimon has been also selected to receive a Student Travel Award for the 2016 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) being held in Tampa, FL where she will present her research with a title of “Reversible Approach for Silicon Surface Modification”.
Hollimon offers this advice for fellow students, “Continue to do everything you would like to do in life because nothing is really impossible if you believe in yourself.”
For more information about the ACS Scholars program, visit www.acs.org. For more information about the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students program, visit www.abrcms.org.