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MassBay Community College Student Awarded Prestigious Goldwater Science Scholarship

Monday, April 2, 2012

WELLESLEY HILLS, MA (April 2, 2012) – MassBay Community College Biotechnology student and decorated Marine Corps veteran Corporal Kenny A. Moreno of Hyde Park, Mass., has won a prestigious 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in Science and Engineering, taking his place alongside students from world-renowned four-year colleges. The award is the nation's highest and most prestigious undergraduate science scholarship for which there is fierce national competition.

Moreno, now in the Reserves, has served two tours of duty in Iraq, returning home to win the nation’s highest science award. Among the approximately 300 Goldwater scholarships awarded this year, Moreno is the only winner from a two-year college and received the highest score from Goldwater reviewers of any honoree from Massachusetts, outscoring competition from MIT and Harvard. Moreno will graduate in May with an associate’s degree in Biotechnology and is expected to attend Columbia University in the fall.

MassBay students in the internationally renowned Biotechnology and Forensic DNA programs have now won 18 Goldwater Scholarships since 1996, more than those earned by all other two-year colleges in the United States combined; and exceeding those produced by most four-year colleges. The Biotechnology Program houses the only undergraduate forensic DNA program in the world, and students collaborate on national and international research and forensic DNA projects.

Dr. Bruce A. Jackson, a professor of biotechnology and forensic DNA science, is chairman of the Biotechnology Department at MassBay, which ranks among the nation’s most celebrated undergraduate science programs. For his groundbreaking program, Dr. Jackson was awarded the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring by President Barack Obama in January of 2011.

In addition to regularly producing Goldwater Scholars, MassBay’s biotechnology and environmental science programs have collaborated on several recent medical breakthroughs, including finding early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease and the discovery of a new bacteria.

“The entire MassBay community is extremely proud of the accomplishment of Corporal Moreno in earning this prestigious scholarship,” said MassBay President Dr. John O’Donnell. “That we can proudly recognize our 18th Goldwater Award winner also reinforces the national prominence of the biotechnology program that Dr. Bruce Jackson and his colleagues have built here.”

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in Science and Engineering, which recognizes academic excellence in science and mathematics, is a Congressional award under the auspices of the sitting president of the United States and the nation's highest and most prestigious science scholarship. The program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

Massachusetts Bay Community College (MassBay) is an open-access, accredited two-year public educational institution. The College grants associate degrees and certificates in a range of disciplines through its five divisions of academics: the Division of Health Sciences; the Division of Humanities; the Division of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (S.T.E.M.); the Division of Social Sciences & Professional Studies; and the Division of Transportation & Energy. Offering over 60 academic programs, including online and evening & weekend programming, MassBay serves MetroWest communities with locations in Wellesley Hills, Framingham and Ashland (Automotive Technology Center).