Each summer beginning in the summer of 2009, The Joan S. Abramowitz Undergraduate Research Scholarship will provide a $3,000-$4,000 scholarship for an exemplary UHD student to do research in a laboratory at the Texas Medical Center, University of Houston, or Rice University during an eight-week period in the summer.

By the time of the scholarship will have been awarded, student candidates must have:

(a) Completed at least 24 hours of college work at UHD;
(b) Completed General Microbiology or equivalent;
(c) Must have a minimum 3.25 G.P.A. in UHD courses; and
(d) Become a member of the UHD Leeuwenhoek Society

Selection of Candidate Students: Candidates for this scholarship will come from NS faculty nominations. The selection committee, comprised of NS Microbiology faculty and other allied NS faculty, will base their selection on merit; however, in cases where merit between top candidates is equivalent, additional considerations may be made (e.g., outstanding international students with limited access to other scholarships).

Research Laboratory for Summer Research: NS Selection Committee will work with faculty at the Texas Medical Center, University of Houston, and Rice University to provide a list of microbiology-related laboratories interested in working with the awardee.

Requirements for the Awardee:
The student awarded the scholarship will:

(a) Commit to a minimum of 40 hours per week of research in the laboratory in which they will work;
(b) Present their work in the form of a poster or oral presentation at the UHD Graduate School and Internship Fair and/or UHD Student Research Conference, and at the Leeuwenhoek Student Chapter of the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology.

Their summer mentor may also require them to present their work publicly in another forum.

Scholarship Donors:
A Donors Committee will be established, which will work with the UHD Advancement Office to obtain donations from the community to fund this scholarship.

Checks should be made out to the University of Houston-Downtown with a notation in the memo line stating that these funds are for the Joan Abramowitz Fund.

Professor Joan Scheer Abramowitz was a beloved and respected faculty member in the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) for twenty years and served as the head of the Applied Microbiology program during her last nine years at UHD. During the course of her tenure at UHD, she exhibited a love of learning, devotion to teaching, hard work, creativity, maintenance of high standards, and Jewish mother nurturance and caring of students.

One of Prof. Abramowitz's greatest legacies to the Department of Natural Sciences was the network of connections she made for microbiology students with faculty at Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas-Houston in the Texas Medical Center, which provided UHD students access to undergraduate research experiences. Prof. Abramowitz mentored the Leeuwenhoek Student Chapter of the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology and the Health Professions Advisory Committee. Annually, she brought students to meetings of the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, which allowed them to participate in the excitement of scientific research as they presented their research; and over the years, several UHD students earned best presentation awards. These experiences led several graduates in microbiology into doctoral programs or medical school at institutions in the Texas Medical Center.

Dr. Abramowitz's outstanding accomplishments as a professor were acknowledged when she received the highly competitive UHD Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition to her teaching and advising activities, Dr. Abramowitz was active in faculty affairs and committees, having the capacity to be both a team player and a leader. She served as a mentor to junior faculty members. During the twenty-year time period, she and her husband, Dr. Joel Abramowitz, guided their three sons into adulthood. Joan also maintained close and loving relationships with her extended family and her many friends. She loved to have people around her and graciously opened up her home on many occasions to students and faculty.

This scholarship is established in Prof. Abramowitz's memory to continue her work of creating learning opportunities for students in research.

University of Houston-Downtown
College of Sciences & Technology
Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences | Department of Engineering Technology | Department of Natural Sciences