Renee Calderon, a double major in biomedical engineering and chemistry at The University of Akron, has been named a 2013 Goldwater Scholar by The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.
The program was established by Congress in 1986 to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the field of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
Calderon is a member of a UA research team led by Dr. Yang Yun, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation. As part of Yun's team, Calderon is investigating nonviral gene therapy and has contributed to the development of biodegradable nanoparticles in Yun's lab.
"I am impressed by Renee's ability to quickly understand complex scientific and engineering theories, ask thoughtful questions and apply her knowledge," says Yun, who has mentored Calderon for the past two years. "She has a great future in biomedical research."
Now in her third year of study at UA, Calderon, plans to pursue a Ph.D. with a research focus on biomaterials and tissue engineering.
Calderon is a member of Increasing Diversity in Engineering Academics (IDEAs) Program, Society of Women Engineers and Biomedical Engineering Society student chapters. A graduate of Canton Central Catholic High School, she is the daughter of Dr. Thomas Calderon, chair of the George Daverio School of Accountancy at UA, and Andrienne Calderon, director of administrative services in UA's College of Business Administration.