Biochemistry majors Callie Miller and Audrey Short selected as 2017-2018 Beckman Scholars

By Susan Meikle, university news and communications

Miami University students Callie Miller and Audrey Short have been selected as Beckman Scholars for 2017-2018. The $19,300 scholarship provides exceptional undergraduate students with continued support for a mentored research project over two summers and one academic year.


Callie Miller. Read more about her research with Mike Crowder here.

Miami was one of 12 schools to receive the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Scholars Program Institutional Award for 2016-2019. The program allows Miami to offer the Beckman Scholarship for up to five students over three years. 

Miller, a sophomore biochemistry and French double major from Champaign, Illinois, is mentored by Mike Crowder, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry. She has been conducting research with Crowder since she started at Miami last year.

She is working on Crowder’s research project on designing clinical inhibitors of metallo-beta-lactamases (MBLs), which render bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

“While only being a rising sophomore, Callie has quickly mastered a large number of research techniques in the lab, and she is leading her own project,” Crowder said. “She is a co-author on two submitted manuscripts, and I expect many more in the future. Her research trajectory is unbelievable, and I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes in the future.”

Miller is a member of the university honors program and treasurer of Miami’s club sailing team.  


Audrey Short. Read more about her research with Michael Kennedy here.

Short, a junior biochemistry major and physics minor from Atlanta, Georgia, is mentored by Michael Kennedy, Ohio Eminent Scholar of Structural Biology. 

Short joined Kennedy’s large lab group during her first semester at Miami. She is involved in Kennedy’s project to determine the role that gut microbes play in triggering Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in genetically susceptible individuals. 

Kennedy’s doctoral student Will Joesten has worked closely with Short since she started in the lab. “Miami is incredible in the amount of energy and work ethic undergraduate students bring to research,” said Joesten, who has mentored about 10 students in Kennedy’s lab. 

Short presented her research last year at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. She is a member of the university honors program and a tutor at the Rinella Learning Center.

Only a few schools have received the Beckman Scholars Program Institutional Award four times

The Beckman Scholarship Program Institutional Award has become a very competitive award with a success rate of 8-10 percent. We are very fortunate to have received four of these awards, and Miami is one of only a few schools to have won the award four times," Crowder said.

"This success is a testament to the commitment that Miami faculty place on training and working with undergraduate students and to the quality of our students," he said.

Crowder was mentor to one of Miami's first Beckman Scholars, Megan Matthews (see sidebar), and has since mentored five others, including Miller.

He was also mentor to 2007 Beckman Scholar Christine Hajdin, who visited Miami in April and reflected on her undergraduate experience in this short video (right).