Alumna Spotlight- Samantha Mooneyham, Class of 2017

Samantha Mooneyham graduated from Cair Paravel Latin School in May of 2017.  Just before graduation she learned that she had been selected as one of six undergraduate students to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.

Sami spent her summer working in the laboratory of Dr. Bruno Hagenbuch in the Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics Department.  She conducted experiments focused on evaluating protein transporters in the liver as they related to Methotrexate which is a drug used to treat certain types of cancer.

The program concluded earlier in August with presentations by the participating students highlighting their research work. Each student gave a 20-minute presentation followed by a period of answering questions from faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and current toxicology graduate students.

Sami says that taking Advanced Chemistry in high school prepared her for understanding the complexities of experimenting on different cell lines.  However, she was also grateful for the experience of public speaking and, more importantly, the experience of being mentally prepared to defend her presentation. Even though she was the youngest student admitted into the program, she felt like she had an advantage over the other students because of her experience speaking and defending presentations in courses like “Great Ideas” at CPLS.

Sami is majoring in Chemistry at Kansas State University where she received a Memorial Scholarship, The Kansas Comprehensive Grant, and the Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship.  She was also chosen to participate in the KSU First Scholars Program which comes with a $20,000 scholarship.