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USC students to receive Rotary scholarships

19 May 2015

An aspiring clinical psychologist, a coastal ecology researcher and a scientist studying koala blindness will be awarded Rotary Postgraduate Scholarships at an annual presentation dinner at the University of the Sunshine Coast tomorrow (Wednesday 20 May).

Andrew Allen (Master of Clinical Psychology), Marion Brown (PhD in Coastal Ecology) and Alessandra Whaite (PhD in Microbiology and Immunology) each will receive a $4,000 scholarship at the 2015 presentation and joint meeting of the combined Rotary Clubs of the Sunshine Coast at the USC Innovation Centre auditorium.

Andrew, 28, of Caloundra, Marion, 48, of Sunrise Beach, and Alessandra, 37, of Imbil, will receive the awards from USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Roland De Marco in front of 200 Rotary guests from 6-9pm.

Co-host will be Win Fowles, president of the Rotary University of the Sunshine Coast Community Fund, which has raised $129,000 since 2001 to support the scholarships.

Outstanding USC alumnus Brendan Powell, a 2006 MBA graduate who is director of business operations at Queensland Oztag, will be guest speaker.

Andrew Allen graduated with First Class Honours in Social Science (Psychology) at USC after focusing on the effects of different media formats on men’s body satisfaction and mood. The current Master’s student is a lifestyle facilitator at Interact Australia on the Sunshine Coast, supporting people with mental and physical health issues.

Marion Brown last year gained a Chancellor’s Medal and a University Medal along with her Bachelor of Environmental Science, then First Class Honours and an Australian Postgraduate Award towards further study. The veterinarian surgeon with a passion for the region is doing a PhD that involves setting camera traps in sand dunes to record the effects of foxes on native wildlife.

Alessandra Whaite is a Biomedical Science graduate who gained First Class Honours in 2013 for her work on the molecular biology of spider silk. Her PhD focuses on characterising the immune response of koalas that develop blindness as a result of chlamydia infection. It is part of a much larger vaccine project at USC.

— Julie Schomberg

 

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