Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarship

The Endowment for the Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarships was created to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students at the University of Washington who are pursuing degrees in any of the following areas of study: Physical sciences; Life sciences; Engineering: Mathematics; and/or Other areas of national need as determined by the National Science Foundation.

It was Thomas Joseph Sedlock’s philosophy that the future will be dominated by the best ideas, not the most ideas. Recipients awarded this scholarship break the mold. The scholarships support self-motivated individuals who demonstrate academic achievement, persistence and follow-through, as well as objectively manifested initiative shown through activities such as (but not limited to): notable self-created experiments in some scientific endeavor, demonstrated leadership in some activity, exceptional writings, etc.

2017-18 Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholar:

Bernice Lin

Senior, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology major

Bernice Lin

Bernice is a graduating senior studying molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. In her first year at UW, she quickly became interested in genetics and joined Dr. Celeste Berg’s lab to investigate tissue patterning and morphogenesis in the fruit fly Drosophila. In her current research, Bernice works on determining the function of a novel family of genes in wound-healing to better understand the dynamic and complicated process. She has also done independent research abroad at the National Health Research Institute in Taiwan in Dr. Jyh-Lyh Juang’s lab to explore the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Her work there involved the identification of therapeutic targets of Alzheimer’s disease. Her research is made possible through the generosity of not only the Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarship, but also the Herschel Roman Scholarship and the Mary Gates Research Scholarship.

After graduation, Bernice plans to join a lab or the biotech industry for a couple years before she heads off to graduate school for either molecular biology or genetics. In the end, she would love to do genetic research on diseases without cures, such as Alzheimer’s.

Outside of research, Bernice has trained in the Japanese martial art, kendo, for about 14 years and competed on the national level since she was about 15 years old. She is a former national champion and was president of the kendo club at the UW. In her spare time, Bernice enjoys making mini photoshoots of her cat, Makisushi, in pursuit of her lifelong dream of becoming a mediocre photographer.

2016-17 Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholars:

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Julia Bauman

Junior, Neurobiology major

Julia Bauman

Julia is a third-year student majoring in neurobiology at UW. She plans to pursue an MD and a PhD in neuroscience with the goal of doing neurodegenerative disease research and seeing patients who are affected by such diseases. She would ideally like to spend a majority of her time in the lab and hopes to eventually teach at the university level.

Julia has a passion for science and medicine, and has been involved in scientific research for the entirety of her undergraduate career. Her long-term project investigates the genetics, neuropathology and risk factors associated with potential subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease. She has also researched cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease and neuroblastoma during summer internships at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and the University of Freiburg in Germany, respectively.

Aside from research, Julia is involved in many activities on campus. She is Vice President of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-medical honors society, where she enjoys organizing professional development programs for members and helping other pre-meds navigate their journey to medical school. As an outreach chair for the UW Neurobiology Club, she coordinates with scientists who come to speak at the club’s events. She is also an Undergraduate Research Leader with the university, helping to bring awareness to students about research opportunities.

Despite a busy schedule, Julia is always willing to make time for running and coffee. She also enjoys hiking, traveling, playing piano and reading in her spare time.

Camille Birch

Junior, Bioengineering major

Camille Birch

Camille is currently in her fourth year studying bioengineering and computer science, and is in the Interdisciplinary Honors program. She left high school after 10th grade and matriculated at UW to pursue college-level science and mathematics. During her freshman year she became interested in neuroscience, and joined Dr. Fetz’s lab to work on a brain-computer interface project soon after. In her current research, Camille works to develop a unified, adaptable neurophysiology system based around the NeuroChip-3 in order to allow for neural engineering in the prefrontal cortex in dynamic research environments. She is also investigating the potential efficacy of the prefrontal cortex as a site for brain-computer interface control and studying cross-cortical connectivity as a function of behavioral state. After graduation, Camille plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. program, specifically in the field of neural engineering, and then work in translational neural engineering research for rehabilitation medicine.

Tyler Valentine

Junior, Physics, Earth & Space Science, Astronomy majors

Tyler Valentine

Tyler has been passionate about science and technology from a young age. Given the economic realities of Tyler’s childhood and adolescence, he was unable to truly pursue his interests. His inner engineer wanted to build anything and almost everything from Tesla Coils to Roman Ballistas. Meanwhile, his inner scientist wanted a telescope to explore the stars and a chemistry set to try to manipulate the elements. Tyler’s inner scientist and engineer have always battle each other for his attention, making it exceedingly difficult to decide on a single major when applying to universities as a senior. A part of him wanted to pursue a degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering the other half wanted to pursue a hard science like molecular biology or astronomy. Eventually Tyler decided to pursue what he perceived to be the most general degree that he could find which would allow him to postpone making the decision about what to do for the rest of his life. He opted to pursue three overlapping majors as it would allow Tyler’s flexibility in applying to both science-based and engineering-based PhD programs.

Tyler’s life also took an interesting turn when he finally decided what research to pursue. As someone profoundly interested in science and engineering from a young age deciding what field of research to pursue was more difficult than deciding a major. Eventually he made the gut decision to ask Professor Robert Winglee for a position in his lab. Eventually this lead him to perform independent research projects on asteroid rendezvous trajectories and spacecraft instrumentation. Additionally, his work with Prof. Winglee granted him access to the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium (WSGC). With the WSGC he has been able to travel around the Pacific Northwest to help promote science and space exploration.

Yotam Ofek

Sophomore, Comprehensive Physics major

Yotam Ofek

Yotam Ofek is a second year student at the University of Washington majoring in physics and mathematics. While math and physics constitute the core of his studies, he pursues a multifaceted education, drawing from a diversity of fields such biology, engineering, and computer science. Yotam has been working at the university’s biophysics lab since 11th grade. Now he is an independent researcher currently working on developing new fluorescence microscopy methods capable of measuring protein concentrations at the single-molecule scale. Such a tool would grant researchers of both biology and medicine a new way to probe the inner workings of cells and specifically the transfer of bacterial DNA.

A scientist in both heart and mind, Yotam wants nothing more than to delve into the unknown and to learn all that there is to find. After finishing his undergraduate education at the University of Washington, he intends to go to graduate school to continue his studies in order to eventually make a full time career of his research.