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Florida State University


"I came to Florida State knowing I wanted to be a doctor. To have the ability to change someone's life or help people in a way that others can't is what keeps me striving," says Kate Beckham, an Honors in the Major junior.

"I started out in the Biology program only because it covered the majority of the subjects needed for the pre-med track; however, the more I get into it, the more I like it. I have found my research niche in genetics.

"Dr. Hank Bass gave me the opportunity to grow academically through participation in his lab. He always encourages me to seek answers to questions that my research presents, even if it seems impossible to understand. Starting research as a sophomore was definitely an advantage, because now I am able to go into an Honors in the Major project with a fairly complete understanding of what I am doing, and why.

"Starting in fall 2006, I began working with Dr. Bass and Debbie Figueroa, a graduate student, to attempt to create a cytogenetic map of the ten chromosomes of maize (corn). Core bin markers are evenly spaced DNA markers on maize chromosomes linkage maps. Through mapping the markers cytogenetically, we can identify the locations of these markers during meiosis. Once we know the locations, other researchers can use our information to find out what the genes do.

"I really love volunteering for the Hospital Elder Life Program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. We assist patients in their daily routines of eating, walking, having conversations, and exercising, mostly to help them adjust to being in the hospital and reduce their stress levels, but also to see if doing these things reduces the effects of Alzheimer's.

"Music keeps me from getting too stressed out. Since the 5th grade, I've been playing the clarinet, the instrument I play in the Marching Chiefs. I will never forget my first performance in Doak Campbell Stadium. I had never seen more than 5,000 people together at one time. Running in and seeing 80,000 cheering fans who love FSU as much as I do was truly a moment of awe.

"I also joined Tau Beta Sigma, the national honorary sorority that promotes women in music and the improvement of university band programs. Each year we donate money to deserving people and help children attend FSU's prestigious Summer Music Camps. This spring, we will host the Women in Music Concert in Ruby Diamond Auditorium.

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