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The UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is proud to announce its 2021-2022 student scholarship winners. The following individuals stand out for their commitment to excellence, both in and out of the classroom, and outstanding work ethic and dedication.

Ray L. Watts Endowed Scholarship in Engineering

chloe demellierThe Ray L. Watts Endowed Scholarship in Engineering awards $1,000 to students currently enrolled in or admitted to a degree-granting program in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering. Preference is given to applicants with a 3.0 GPA or above who might otherwise be unable to attend the University due to affordability. This year’s 2021-2022 Watts Scholarship winner is Chloe DeMellier, a BME undergraduate student working toward her bachelor’s degree. Passionate about the field of biomedical engineering, DeMellier says she is empowered by being a woman in a male-dominated industry and desires to further grow and improve her skills. She is a rising junior and is expected to graduate in the spring of 2023.

In her words: "This scholarship has allowed me to focus less on the financial struggles of college and more on leaning into my coursework to become more excited for what is to come. Because of this scholarship, I am able to focus on getting real world experience, like joining research labs or getting internships. College can add a lot of pressure to someone, but being able not to worry about the financial needs of it allows more focus for the things you’re passionate about."

UAB Bond-Haggard Scholarship

murphy rachel2021The Bond-Haggard Endowed Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering is given by Dr. Warren and Mrs. Cindy Haggard in memory of their parents Dr. Dwight and Mrs. Ruth Ann Bond and Mr. Jesse Haggard, and in honor of Mrs. Annie Ruth Haggard for their lifelong support of higher education. This year’s 2021-2022 Bond-Haggard Scholarship winner is Rachel Murphy, a pre-BME undergraduate student working toward her bachelor’s degree with a minor in neuroengineering. Murphy has received a collegial merit scholarship and transfer excellence scholarship. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Phi Theta Kappa, an international collegial honor society. She is a rising junior and is expected to graduate in the spring of 2023.

In her words: "This scholarship is helping me reach my goal of being able to work less through school so that I can fully focus all of my energy on my classes and understanding the material."

Dr. Jack Lemons Endowed Scholarship

The Dr. Jack Lemons Endowed Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering honors Jack Lemons and his contributions to graduate education at UAB. Over his more than 40-year academic career, almost all of it at UAB, Dr. Lemons has been committed to student training and graduate education. This year’s Lemons Endowed Scholarship winners are Kyla Gabriel, Jonathan Gordon, Billie Johnson, Maaike Priest, and Aubrey Wycklendt.

kyla gabrielKyla Gabriel is a UAB BME undergraduate senior. She has gained experience working as a telemetry technician, patient care aide, Keck Graduate Institute medical device intern, and International Atlantis surgical fellow. Gabriel is the founder and president of Volunteers in STEM, Innovation, and Outreach Network and is a Chemistry & Biology Supplemental Instruction Leader. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at Children’s of Alabama.

In her words: "This scholarship has given me the opportunity to further pursue my goal of being a biomedical engineer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my family and I have been challenged with many hardships. By receiving the Lemons Scholarship, I am able to overcome many of the difficulties I have been facing and continue my undergraduate education."

jonathan gordonJonathan Gordon is a UAB BME undergraduate senior. He is a UAB Engineering Ambassador and has field experience from working in the Research and Development Engineering Co-Op with BioHorizons. Gordon currently serves as an engineering peer mentor and has volunteered with UAB Hospital, UAB Blazer Kitchen, and the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, among other organizations.

In his words: "I am extremely honored to be recognized as a BME scholar. The Lemons Scholarship is one of many amazing opportunities that UAB and the School of Engineering have given me. I appreciate this generous award and will use this as a source of motivation for senior year. Go Blazers!"

Johnson Billie Lauryn copyBillie Lauryn Johnson is a BME undergraduate junior. She is currently an active service member in the Air Force Reserves. Johnson is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Engineering Academic Excellence Program.

In her words: "For me, this scholarship means that I can continue my studies as a biomedical engineering major without having financial stress. I plan to tutor calculus and engineering in my free time for students who can’t afford tutoring because I believe in giving back when things have been given to you. This scholarship is not only helping me pay my way through college to become an engineer, but it’s also providing me with time to help other students."

maaike priestMaaike Priest is a current UAB BME undergraduate senior. She has completed several successful internships at SAIC in Huntsville, Alabama and Research Experiences for Undergraduates at UAB. Priest enjoys volunteering for numerous causes in the Birmingham community in her free time.

In her words: "This scholarship means the world to me as BME is not an easy major to go through, let alone excel in. Being a first-gen college student, as well as a person of color, this scholarship proves to me not only that I am meant to be here, but that others can follow in my footsteps as well."

aubrey wycklendtAubrey Wycklendt is a pre-BME undergraduate sophomore working toward her bachelor’s degree with double minors in African American Studies and STEM Education. She is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, BWomen, and is a board member of the Black Student Union. In addition to the Lemon’s Scholarship, Wycklendt holds the Blazer Distinction Scholarship Award.

In her words: "The Lemons scholarship is allowing me to be one step closer to achieving my long-term goal, after obtaining my future degree(s), which is the establishment of a program for Black Engineers to provide resources for those in the Black community in pursuit of higher education."