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Williams Senior Wins Cambridge Scholarship
12:23PM / Friday, April 13, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College senior Cynthia Okoye has been awarded the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.

With the help of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Okoye hopes to continue studying the mechanisms that allow diseases to thrive in the human body and use this knowledge to inform rational drug and therapy design. Okoye is passionate about Africa's development and views her scholarship as an opportunity to combine her scientific expertise and leadership skills to improve Africa's place in the scientific world. After she completes her Ph.D., she plans to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at the Africa Health Research Institute.

Okoye will graduate with a major in chemistry and a concentration in biochemistry and molecular biology. She is currently pursuing an honors thesis in chemistry. Okoye has worked as a research fellow in the pharmacology department at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., and in the laboratory of malaria and vector research at the National Institute of Health in Rockville, Md. At Williams, she has been a science fellow at Brayton and Greylock elementary schools, and an after-school tutor at Mt. Greylock Middle School, as well as a teaching assistant for the dance ensemble Kusika and the co-chair of the Veritas Forum.

"I am excited to conduct drug discovery research at Cambridge and to join a network of scholars committed to positively impacting the world," Okoye said. "I hope to fulfill this objective through my contributions to the biomedical field. My success so far would not have been possible without the support of colleagues and mentors to whom I am immensely grateful."

Ninety-two scholarship recipients were selected from a total pool of 5,798 applicants from across the globe on the basis of their intellectual ability, commitment to improving the lives of others, leadership potential and academic fit with Cambridge.

Okoye is the 10th senior or recent alumnus from Williams to be named a Gates Cambridge Scholar, following Yue-Yi Hwa ’11, Evelyn Denham ’12, Jose Martinez ’10, Nathan Benaich ’10, Leah Katzelnick ’10, Emily Gladden ’07, Shannon Chiu ’08, Alan Rodrigues ’07, and Shawn Powers ’04.


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