LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2022) — For Kayli Bolton, adversity in life became a driving force during high school. The Corbin, Kentucky native says it was her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis during her sophomore year that influenced her choice of studies in college, along with an interest in biomedical sciences research.
Since the beginning of her freshman year at UK, Bolton has been active in undergraduate research working in Professor Matthew Gentry’s laboratory in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry in the UK College of Medicine. She has had the opportunity to participate in several metabolomics projects concerning glycogen storage diseases in Gentry’s Lab and describes her experience as a crucial launching point for her continued research in graduate school and her career. One of UK's three 2021-22 Goldwater Scholars, Bolton is also part of the Markey STRONG Scholars Program.
Now a junior majoring in biology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, Bolton is also a member of the Lewis Honors College. In addition to her other accolades, Bolton was announced as one of 2021’s 60 recipients to be awarded a scholarship of up to $15,000 from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).
A nonprofit organization, ASF was established by the Mercury Astronauts in 1984. Its goal is to aid the U.S. in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for exceptional college students pursuing degrees in these fields. Since that time, astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs have joined in this educational endeavor. UK students have earned a total of $216,000 from the ASF since 1998.
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The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the office, housed in the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, well in advance of the scholarship deadline. Staff is available for in-person and virtual appointments to discuss opportunities for the 2021-2022 academic year and beyond.
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