Brendon Juengst was nominated by the Bloomsburg University chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi to the national fellowship competition of Phi Kappa Phi. The national organization awards 57 fellowships of $5,000 and 3 fellowships of $15,000 in support of the first year of graduate study. Brendon, a biology major with minors in music and chemistry, graduated magna cum laude in May 2015. Brendon has been very active in undergraduate research. As a member of the University Honors Program, he conducted a two-semester honors research project with mentor Dr. George Davis that investigated a putative ferric iron transport protein in oats. The aim of this work is to use the tools of genetic engineering to improve the efficiency of iron uptake in crop plants grown in low iron soils. Brendon also conducted research at the Weis Center for Research, Geisinger Medical Center, where he examined the effects of heat shock protein inhibitors on bladder cancer cell lines in the laboratory of Drs. Alice Cavanaugh and Heinric Williams. Brendon garnered the award for the Best Clinical/Translational Poster at the Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium for this study. He has received two grants to support his research, the Donald Rabb Research Fund Grant and the Jessica S. and Steven R. Kozloff Undergraduate Research Grant.
Brendon has excelled in and out of the classroom. He has been named to the Dean’s list during each of his semesters at Bloomsburg University and has received the Board of Governors Scholarship, the David and Roberta Soltz Scholarship, the Highmark Freshman Scholarship, and the James R. Hammaker Memorial Scholarship. Brendon is active in the Honors Program where he has served two years as chair of the Recruiting Committee and has engaged in numerous service activities in the surrounding community. Brendon plays viola in the Bloomsburg University Community Orchestra and Bloomsburg Chamber Orchestra, where he serves as president and vice-president, respectively. Brendon has volunteered for Minority Affairs for several semesters. He has been selected for membership in Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and has been recognized by a listing in Who’s Who Among Students in Colleges and Universities. Brendon will attend Penn State University in the fall 2015 to begin working on his Ph.D. in plant biology.