UIC Bioengineering Students Win Whitaker International Study Grants

Two University of Illinois at Chicago students and one recent UIC graduate have been awarded funds from the Whitaker International Program to study abroad during the coming academic year.

Nicholas Anderson and Melissa Manktelow, both juniors majoring in bioengineering, will study as Whitaker Scholarship winners this autumn at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico. They’ll each receive up to $7,500 to cover costs.

Anderson is a resident of Morrison, Ill. and graduated from Morrison Community High School in 2009. While in Guadalajara he plans to study statistical quality control, dynamics and numerical methods in engineering. “I also hope to conduct research while studying abroad,” he said.

In addition to his bioengineering major at UIC, Anderson is pursuing minor studies in mathematics.

Manktelow, who lives in McHenry, Ill., is a 2010 graduate of McHenry East High School. She says she is looking forward to being immersed in another culture and is interested in seeing how engineering is taught in Mexico. “I think that having an international experience will enhance my engineering education,” she said.

In addition to her bioengineering major, Manktelow is pursuing a minor in kinesiology at UIC.

Anderson’s and Manktelow’s study is part of a bilateral exchange program with the Tecnológico de Monterrey, which will send one student to UIC this fall and another in a subsequent term.

Sasidhar Madugula, who earned his B.S. in bioengineering with Phi Beta Kappa honors from UIC in May, will spend the coming academic year as a Whitaker Fellow at the University of Oxford in England, where he will research the short-term plasticity of brain motor circuits and changes over short periods of time.

His study will use functional magnetic resonance imaging data analysis, which, he says, “ties into my career goal of engaging in MRI research as a neurologist.”

A resident of Hoffman Estates, Ill. and a 2009 graduate of Barrington Community High School, Madugula plans to earn a master’s degree at Oxford before returning to the U.S. to earn both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in bioengineering.

Madugula’s Whitaker Fellowship is valued at approximately $50,000.

Whitaker scholars and fellows are students who plan to earn doctorates and pursue careers in biomedical engineering. The program awards between 50 and 60 grants yearly to students seeking international experience in their studies.

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