Two UALR students were named recipients of the Fribourgh scholarship at the fifth annual Fribourgh Award fundraiser that honored Peter Banko, president and CEO of St. Vincent’s Health System, on Thursday, March 20.
The yearly event is sponsored by the UALR College of Science to benefit its College of Science Leadership Endowed Scholarship Fund for undergraduate students in health, mathematics, and science.
This year’s scholarship recipients are John Minton and Jessie Weaver, who both expressed surprise at the news they had been chosen.
“I am very grateful, and I feel that this is a great honor,” said Minton.
“I know there are a lot of deserving students at our school, so I was very honored,” Weaver concurred.
Minton and Weaver have plans for medical school in common, following graduation from UALR. Minton’s research interests include genetics and biochemistry, and Weaver has expressed an interest in pathology.
Both credited faculty mentors at UALR for invaluable assistance and guidance in their respective areas of interest. Minton said Drs. Nawab Ali, William H. Baltosser, Stephen Grace, and Robert S. Sikes were a particular source of inspiration.
“These faculty members have helped me immensely with my interest in research, and they have kindly offered their advice to me whenever I needed it,” Minton said.
Weaver is working with Dr. Robert Steinmeier, a professor of chemistry, in his research lab. She reflected that he has been “tough, but fair and helpful,” not only in teaching organic chemistry, but also in demonstrating the proper use of lab equipment and appropriate ways to interpret data.
“I tend to be shy, so they probably wouldn’t know it, but all of the instructors I have had at UALR have been inspirational and helpful as I work toward my bachelor’s degree,” said Weaver. “I have learned from them all, and they all have inspired me in different ways.”
The students were feted by the 2013 Fribourgh scholarship recipient, Saad Azam, as well as Cindy Fribourgh, Abbie Fribourgh Palmer, and Becky Casanova, daughters of the late Dr. James H. Fribourgh, for whom the honor is named.
Created in 2010, the Fribourgh Award honors Professor Emeritus Fribourgh, who spent more than 45 years at UALR, serving as chair of Life Sciences, interim chancellor, vice chancellor for academic affairs, and distinguished professor of biology.
Corporate sponsors for the event were St. Vincent Hospital, Acxiom, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arkansas, Budweiser, Entergy, and Nabholz.
Individual sponsors included Cheryl L. Avants and Dr. Bill Nowlin, Dr. Ann and James Bain, Gary Davis, Rick Fleetwood, Rick Massey, and Judy Tenenbaum.
Among the many distinguished guests in attendance were City Manager Bruce Moore; Gus Blass III; Drew, Nancy and Dean Kumpuris; Charles and Charlotte Nabholz; Eric Kaufmann; Dr. Mary Good; and UALR Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dr. Zulma Toros.