Undergraduates honored at UCSC Achievement Awards ceremony

More than 400 UC Santa Cruz undergraduates who have received national, state, and campus awards will be honored at the annual Student Achievement Week Awards ceremony on May 31 from 3 to 5 p.m. at University House on the UCSC campus. Reporters and photographers are invited to attend the invitation-only awards ceremony and interview award recipients and campus administrators. Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood and vice provost and dean of undergraduate education Lynda Goff are scheduled to attend the event.

Among the awardees is local student Jenny Draper, from Boulder Creek. A recipient of the UCSC School of Engineering Dean's Award, Draper will graduate next month with a double major--the equivalent of a degree in each area--in molecular, cell, and developmental biology and bioinformatics. UCSC was among the first universities to offer a degree in bioinformatics, and Draper will be one of the first graduates of that program.

Draper is also participating in two additional Student Achievement Week events. At the Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium, she'll present the results of her bioinformatics research. And her artwork is on display at the "Illustrating Nature" exhibit, featuring work from UCSC's Science Communication classes, at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

"If I can," said Draper, "I would like to use my art to help illustrate aspects of bioinformatics and biological processes."

In her spare time, Draper has been serving as web master for the UCSC Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering. Up next for this multitalented student: She'll be working towards a Ph.D. in bioinformatics at UCSC this fall.

Draper is available to speak with the media and can be contacted directly at learithe@cats.ucsc.edu. She will present her bioinformatics research on May 30 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. in the Thimann Lab Courtyard during the Natural Sciences and Engineering Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium.