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Bioengineering Student Wins Prominent Fellowship to Study in England

May 16, 2008

University of Texas at Arlington biomedical engineering student Kristy Cloyd will be spending a year in London, thanks to a prestigious Whitaker Foundation fellowship she received. The foundation granted only 18 fellowships in the United States this year; recipients are required to study outside the U.S. and Canada.

Kristy just completed the College of Engineering/College of Science five-year program allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. She will now spend 12 months under the direction of Professor Molly Stevens at the Imperial College London. The research director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Imperial College’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Stevens is world-renowned for developing novel approaches to tissue engineering and biomaterials.

Kristy came to UT Arlington after two years at The University of Arizona, where she studied software systems. “I had always been interested in biology and did an Internet search for schools with bioengineering programs,” said Kristy. “When I read about the cool association UT Arlington had with the UT Southwestern Medical Center, I thought it sounded like the best way of combining the benefits of both schools.”

“I haven’t regretted changing majors and coming here,” she declared. “The professors here genuinely cared about my interests and progress. In fact, getting the Whitaker fellowship was the result of a discussion with Dr. [Liping] Tang. I had gone to him when I felt I was at a crossroads, wondering about the next step in my studies. About a week after our talk, he suggested I apply for the Whitaker.”

Kristy completed the application and submitted it along with letters of recommendation from Bioengineering Professors Tang, Khosrow Behbehani, Robert Eberhart and C. J. Chuong, her research advisor, and Mathematics Professor D. L. Hawkins. “I thought it was a long shot, because this is one of the top fellowships around and very competitive. Getting the fellowship showed me and others here that the UT Arlington/UT Southwestern program is on equal grounds with programs at major universities like Cornell and Johns Hopkins.”

The fellowship will pay most of Kristy’s expenses getting to and staying in London, including a living stipend and up to $25,000 for tuitions. “The foundation is very generous and understanding about a student’s needs,” she said.

“I am very proud to be a UT Arlington graduate, especially knowing the support I received from my research advisor and professors was second to none. I truly believe UT Arlington provided me with the best possible experience for my master’s, and now I have the Whitaker Fellowship as a result of my mentor’s generosity and assistance.”