Aspiring Scientist Wins Churchill Scholarship

Carolina senior Blake M. Hauser has been named a recipient of the Churchill Scholarship, a research-focused award that provides funding to American students for a year of master’s study in science, mathematics and engineering at Churchill College, based at the University of Cambridge in England.

Blake M. Hauser

Blake M. Hauser will study at Churchill College, based at Cambridge. (UNC photo by Jon Gardiner)

Hauser, from Marietta, Ga., was one of only 15 selected for the prestigious award, which requires outstanding academic achievement and seeks those with proven talent in research, extensive laboratory experience and personal activities outside of academic pursuits, especially in music, athletics and social service.

She is UNC’s 16th Churchill Scholar.

Hauser plans to graduate from Carolina in May with a double major in environmental health sciences from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and biology with a minor in chemistry.

Last year, Hauser was one of Carolina’s four Truman Scholarship finalists, the most Carolina has had in recent years.

Hauser is a Morehead-Cain Scholar, a Phi Beta Kappa member and an Honors Carolina student who is working on her second senior honors thesis. She was awarded highest honors for her first senior honors thesis in August. Hauser serves as executive director of Carolina’s Eve Carson Scholarship and is a student member of the faculty advisory board for UNC’s Office of Undergraduate Research. She also is the president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, where she has used her leadership platform to raise awareness for issues, including sexual assault on campus, and to raise money for literacy programs and breast cancer research.

Her interest in the study of infectious disease can be traced to a summer in Malawi, where she worked on a systematic review of the impact of HIV counseling and testing on uninfected HIV individuals. Hauser returned the next summer to pursue research on the continuum of care associated with maternal initiation of antiretroviral therapy after testing positive during antenatal care, and her research has earned her co-author credits on four published and forthcoming articles. This semester, she is co-teaching a C-START course on “The Re-emergence of Infectious Diseases: From Cholera, to Ebola, and Beyond” at Carolina.

Hauser aspires to be a physician-scientist.

The Churchill started in 1963 with three awards and since has grown to an average of 14 awards. The scholarship was set up at the request of Sir Winston Churchill to fulfill his vision of U.S.-U.K. scientific exchange with the goal of advancing science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic.


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