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Florida State University


Tamera Scholz was drawn to Florida State because of the Women in Math, Science and Engineering (WIMSE) program, which has provided her opportunities to participate in research in "incredible facilities, and to connect with women possessing similar interests."

She has taken full advantage of these opportunities. As an intern in the Mathematics department, she discovered an innovative theoretical approach to compare two 3-dimensional objects digitally, using basic principles of group theory and the properties of regular polyhedra. She is now awaiting approval of a U.S. Patent on the method, and has submitted an article on the 3-dimensional object comparison to a Math journal.

As an intern in the Biomedical Research Facility, she studies the retinal development of embryonic zebrafish. Since the 1970's scientists have used the zebrafish embryo to study how not only fish, but also all vertebrates, including people, develop from the moment a sperm fertilizes the egg. Zebrafish eggs are clear and develop outside of the mother's body, allowing scientists to watch the egg grow into a newly formed fish under a microscope. A mutant strain of this fish carries a gene that causes their retina rod cells to die early in development. Tamera is investigating how the death of these cells affects other retina cells and when attempts to replace these dying rod cells are first made. She hopes that the research may lead to the development of treatments, and possibly cures, for retinal degenerative diseases.

Tamera's superb academic achievements, including the Dean's List, President's List, and WIMSE Awards, have brought her invitations to join FSU's Honors Program, the Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society.

To the community that has given her much, Tamera gives back, not only through her research, but also through service organizations. She helped found an FSU chapter of Unite for Sight, an organization that provides vision exams and vision care education to the community and that collects eyeglasses for distribution in other countries. And she is the founder and current president of FSU's Math Club, "where people who enjoy math can connect through social and community service events." She also volunteers at local elementary schools "to help children pass the Math portion of the FCAT."

Her ultimate goal is to become an eye doctor but she has "not yet decided between optometry and ophthalmology." No matter the direction she chooses, we know that both she and those around her will benefit. 

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